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It was late and suddenly the sky lit up with colors. The crackers snapped and banged for a few minutes. Lucky as the photo gear was set up nearby. A few twist and turns on the ball head got me these shots. Of course I had to drag the cam and tripod out on the balcony.

Captured with Canon EOS 7D, tripod, remote shutter release and processed with Lightroom 3.

Happy Holidays!

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Special Air Travel Post

After a few airports and around 15k images on several projects I’m back on solid ground-not to mention stable internet connection.

Some planes and airports shot during my run around…. click for larger…

 

Looking Back at September 2010

Various storm clouds captured with the most complicated setup being a sturdy tripod, DSLR, wide-angle lens and remote shutter. The DSLR was either an EOS 50D or EOS 7D (whatever was on hand) and lens used was mostly an EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 kit lens. The landscape were all captured in RAW then initially converted to workable file in Digital Photo Professional (Canon’s native software). All images were then put through various adjustments in Photoshop CS5 to get the final versions posted. Some of the photos were slightly HDR’ed to even out the scene. Can you guess which ones?

Some past post on storm clouds here, here, here and some lightning here.

Here’s a tip: the real secret to getting a good sunset/storm/night sky is not an expensive DSLR (here’s lightning from a Canon G7 point and shoot) used but the post processing work done (RAW+Photoshop). For starters do a search on a good screw on CPL filters (B+W) or for shooters with some extra moolah- Cokin or Lee drop in filters.

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Sept. 5, 2010, EOS 7D, 17mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/10 sec.

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Sept. 12, 2010, EOS 7D, 17mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/200 sec. Originally shot in color but it was very muted and it was decided to convert to b&w. Always shoot in color and convert in post.

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Aug. 24, 2010, EOS 50D, 70mm, ISO 100, f/8.0, 36 secs, this frame was part of a series of lightning shoots that night.

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Sept. 12, 2010, EOS 7D, 17mm, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/200 sec

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Sept. 21, 2010, EOS 50D, 17mm, ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/13 sec. This photos has a sunset(left), lightning glow(upper center), rain storm(directly below lightning glow) and an almost twilight scene(right). No elements of this photo was edited in PS. Captured as is.

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Sept. 6, 2010, EOS 7D, 17mm, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/15 sec. A dramatic sunset right after heavy monsoon rains with the clouds reflecting whats left of the suns glow. This was captured right after the sun has just gone below the horizon.

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Sept. 19, 2010, EOS 7D, 85mm, ISO 100, f/14, 1/50 sec. Smog and the rainy atmosphere brings a dramatic dimension to the photo. The brighness of the sun is actually filtered by the thick pollution in Manila skies.

Road Trip to Baguio

To Baguio for a fun filled wedding shoot with my travel buddy, Brian. We took the road less traveled and arrived at the City of Pines hampered by pot holes and thick fog on Marcos highway. Baguio City is the Philippines answer to winter. The only place within a 4-5 hour car ride where semi winter experiences can be had. Tagaytay doesn’t count as it’s only spring weather.

Once we got relaxed and squared away it was time to go over some fine details on shooting a wedding.

A little side note: on the night of December 20 (that’s tonight…) there will be a total lunar eclipse. I do hope the clouds hanging around now will go away for my unobstructed view. Here’s the full article on Yahoo!.

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CHUNG HSIAO BRANCH, TAIPEI, TAIWAN

A must eat restaurant in Taipei. DTF is basically Taiwanese street stall/snack foods turned into gourmet-well, compared to street stalls that is. The food is clean, neatly served and prices dictate that. Don’t expect a fine dinning atmosphere as everything in this restaurant is fast paced.

Someone once said, there are other places in Hong Kong and Singapore that have better 小籠包 (Xiao Lung Pao) or steamed pork dumplings. They probably do but I have never tried another much like DTF’s version. This is a recipe that has been around since the 1980’s when DTF was just 1 restaurant (Xin Yi Branch) and dirty as can be. I loved it then and still love it now.

Ding Tai Fong now has branches in many major cities across Asia with a few in the US. Just google to get their locations.

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Once you arrive at DTF go to the entrance and register. This is the only restaurant in Taipei that makes you wait for tables and is successful at driving diners back.

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A comfortable meal here entails a group to early. You will not get a seat at the height of lunch or dinner without waiting.

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This was shot at around 11am. DTF was already 2/3 full.

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小籠包 (Xiao Lung Pao) or steamed pork dumplings are the stars. The dumpling skin is very light and be careful not to pop it open with chopsticks so the soup inside doesn't trickle out.

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Braised beef noodle soup, classic filling comfort food and another must have. In the 15 years dinning at DTF their quality has always been consistent.

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蝦仁燒賣(Xia Ren Sao Mai) or steamed shrimp dumplings are another must try.

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If your group is real hungry order the egg fried rice and topped with fried porkchop.

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The service is very good and efficient. This is also the only restaurant I know where the staff tells you that you have ordered enough. And when you finish your meal, they will bus out your table which means it's time to for you to go.

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Incredible as it may seem, DTF being more popular than ever, now has a mascot in the guise of a large steamed dumpling with a souvenir shop next door.

OCTOBER 11, 2010 TRINOMA MALL, QUEZON CITY, PHILIPPINES

MacDy_MangoTParty_267thumbsIt all started at 5pm and lasted until Trinoma mall closed for the night.

The first Mango Tree Bistro opens with a bang. The night was hosted by non other than Rovilson Fernandez introducing ‘I’m Not a Chef…But I Sure Am a Good Cook!‘ cook book author and CEO of Coca Restaurants, Pitaya Phanphensophon, for a demonstration on authentic Thai prawn curry from scratch. Then it was pretty much a blur for this photographer as VIP’s and special guests arrived one after the other. All 300 guest were treated to great dance music by a DJ while chowing down on non-stop Thai food and overflowing cocktails-(hic)…

The slide show shouldn’t take too long to load but it does have 36 photos from the 600 originally captured at the event. Keep your eyes pealed you might spot a few persons that may look familiar.

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For reservations call 0917 890 2166 or 02 585 5460

REMEMBERING TYPHOON ONDOY-1 YEAR AFTER

Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) in September of 2009 was the most destructive in Philippine history. The flooding by rain water would not have been on such a catastrophic level if not for the careless release of 3 dams in the middle of the night. Below some of my photographs from 2009.

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Ondoy poured 16.7″ of rain in 12 hours and with overflowing water levels, dams in the surrounding areas of Metro Manila released the excess. Rivers and storm drains were grossly polluted from years of careless trash disposal and neglect. All that water had no where to go but flood cities and towns in it’s path.

During the initial days of flooding, basic goods were donated to groups of concerned citizens who brought them to the hardest hit areas of Cainta, Rizal, Marikina, and Antipolo. Majority of government rescue and relief efforts thwarted without proper readiness and equipment. Members of the police and military forces acted on their own accord to rescue citizen with some sacrificing their lives.

Many areas were without electricity, food and shelter for months after Ondoy. Let Typhoon Ondoy be a reminder to all Filipinos that years of neglect will eventually lead to consequences that will affect many. Ondoy should serve as a stark reminder of proper disposal of trash and the responsibility of a government for it’s citizens well being.

YOCARD EVENT: VISUALS WITH VISION 2

On September 9, 2010, YOCard exhibited over 300+ artists’ visuals at the Shangri La Mall in Pasig. Opening night of Visuals Wth Vision 2 was held at the level 3 exhibit area in front of Figaro Cafe to a great crowd.

One of the highlights was the showing of a video clip of CNN’s 2009 Hero of the Year awardee and one of the competition judges with encouraging words of wisdom. Filipino teacher Efren Penaflorida is known for his ‘Kariton Klassrum’ or ‘cart classroom’ where very poor children are taught basic literacy skills and values formation.

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Many of the artists came to view their piece finally printed on postcards along with their families. Snacks and coffee was served throughout the night and it culminated with the announcement of the 3 winners. The 1st prize was a hoopla of LOMO cams and gear. Nice!

More from YoCard VWV 2009

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Mac_3482x Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake

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