Category Archives: Online Tutorials

Shoot Like a PRO 101 III

Post-processing err… exposure correction (and its benefits)

When post-processing photos, it doesn’t equate to “emphasize” or “ruin” elegant details. It usually equates the personal preference of the photographer whether he/she prefers to enhance photographs digitally without the need of post-processing.

Hmmm… I think last week we went to one of the finest restaurants in the Philippines. Well, guess where it is.

Well, you guessed it! It’s in Spiral! In Sofitel! Pardon me for the crappy output Photomerge has brought me.

There is one time that I wanted to take a photograph of a dessert. Okay, so to speak me momma is now the new owner of the 550D (iCry). Well, she would usually become “flash-dependent” rather than not using flash at all (y’all know me as the person who refuses to use FLASH).

In this case scenario, I was about to take a photograph of the strawberry dessert, but suddenly the 550D’s flash did pop out (I’m using a 60D here ok!?) and it ignited, while I was taking a photograph of the dessert at the same time.

So here’s the output:


Overexposed, isn’t it? Seriously, it’s really an eyesore!

However, with the magical powers of photo-editing software, you will never be worried about the lighting. Here, I used Lightroom 3 to make it more decent and not an eyesore:


Here you have it! Good as new!

Actually, using Lightroom as your primary editing software in terms of correcting exposure, saturation and contrast would be a better option rather than relying on Photoshop alone. There are things that Lightroom can do that EVEN Photoshop can’t even do, so it’s really much better to have both of them at the same time.

Caution: Before you install Photoshop (and Lightroom) the easy way…

Please take note that bringing your laptop overseas might be a threat. You’ll be questioned about your credibility as a person, and you might be questioned, so it’s best that you rather not bring your laptop at all.

Granted, Adobe Creative Suite Software is really very costly and is very complicated to use. However, with the help of technology that are willing to take risks with regards to the law, you could now access Photoshop downloads and keygens at the same time online (yes, I’m really mentioning this at risk). The only way that you could access these software the genuine way is a very difficult process especially if you’re not yet working — the cost of that software almost equates a single gadget.

I just want to help everyone, so help yourself. I’m not promoting piracy in any way (in fact, I never buy pirated movie DVDs, they’re also an eyesore to watch), but I have no choice but go for download instead.

Hope you understand the situation.

Canon EOS 60D: The First-Hand Review

After almost two years of photography experience, I finally upgraded to a semi-pro camera body… so please welcome Blooregard, aka, the Canon EOS 60D!

I named it Blooregard. Well, one thing that I want to tell you guys is that, I rarely make names for gadgets, but since it is a “norm” for mainstream popular kids, whoa like… what DAFUQ!?

Before buying the 60D…


Here’s one milk tea experience. But I still think that Pao Pao is still heaven!

Ever since, I thought of upgrading, if not the 5D Mark II. However, because the 5D MkII’s screen is 4:3 in aspect ratio, I chose to wait for the 5D Mark III only for higher megapixels, SD card slot, 100% viewfinder coverage and a ginormous 3:2 3.2″ LCD monitor (which is sadly not articulate).

The 60D is actually a second choice, next to the 5D Mark II. Actually, this made me realize that the 60D is actually a real semi-pro model. Why? I’ll show you everything (haha, check out YouTube.com/MolybdenumStudios soon!).


Here it is! The 60D supplied with its kit lens (plus an 8GB SD card).

Okay, so the 60D with the kit lens. However, I still decided to use the EF-S 15-85mm lens because the 18-135mm will belong to me momma. There were “challenges” actually, rather than meticulous organized… shizz. First of all, the 60D’s manual is in Nippongo! The seller told me that their suppliers are Japanese (hontoni desu ka?). Worse, the serial number is worn out (black background is better than the white one nyahaha!).


This is how the 60D looks like with the kit lens (:

So, here’s the story that I’d like to share with all of you guys…

One thing that I really like to share with you is an advantage when upgrading to a semi-pro model/body: Usually, people using an entry-level model (e.g., xxxD, xxxxD) upgrading to full-frame might have a hard time adjusting. Another thing is, if you’re planning to upgrade to full-frame, remember, EF-S lenses are NOT compatible with full-frame EOS bodies (e.g., 5D series, 1Dx, 1Ds). Instead, you have to invest to an EF lens, specifically the ones that are L-series (EF lenses with a red barrel, for Nikonians, it’s usually the gold barrel).

Another thing is that, third-party lenses are actually very limited in features, which is not exactly true. In fact, there are some lenses that are almost at-par with marque lenses, but marque lenses are still the choice of professional photographers.


Notice that the camera is really much bigger than the Canon EOS 550D/Rebel T2i/Kiss X4

Higher-end camera bodies tend to be heavier and more advanced in features, but the 60D serves as a mediator (or bridge) between the entry-level xxxD bodies and the xxD ones (7D included!). Usually, xxD bodies have CF card slots rather than SD card slots, but the 60D rather has a/n SD card slot, which is more accessible to those who were using xxxD models that start from EOS 450D to the latest. The only xxD features retained on the 60D is the pentaprism viewfinder (don’t get me wrong, I have a very hard time dealing with a pentaprism viewfinder, so I often adjust the grade), different battery pack and… hmmm, I’ll think about it. I’m a first-time xxD user, BTW. (:


With the signature strap! Usually, most DSLRs are equipped with “EOS DIGITAL,” but xxD and xD models are different.

One advantage about the xxD models is that, their strap is an identification whether a person uses an xxxD/xxxxD, xxD and/or an xD model. When you see a strap with a xxD model in it, it means that they’re using mid-range bodies, but if you spot someone with a camera strap with an xD model in it, you’re going to say, “Whoa, this person must be rich,” or “That person must be a professional.” Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that if you own an xD model, you’re automatically a professional photographer or a well-off person.

You don’t need to be a professional photographer to buy a full-frame camera body, however, is is still considered as a luxury item for some few.

Original quote. LOL.

Usually, full-frame cameras offer something that APS-C sensor bodies cannot even do, and you guessed it, wide-angle capabilities! A full-frame body is ideal for standard telephoto and wide-angle focal lengths since most camera manufacturers tend to be VERY biased in terms of focal length — especially for wide-angle lenses that are not conducive enough for an APS-C sensor.

However, there are some advantages when using a crop sensor body — and that is telephoto capabilities. You could actually use the 60D when using a 70-200mm L lens if you want to stalk your crush (oh no, BI right here!) or maybe capture a very wild animal.

EF-S lenses or short-back focus lenses are considered as “digital lenses” since they only work on digital SLRs with an APS-C sensor, while EF lenses (or non short-back focus lenses) are made for EVERY digital SLR, and also for film cameras. Make sure that the mount matches — you can’t fit Canon lenses on a Nikon or a Sony body unless there’s an adaptor. Right, yowayowa-san?

Since I’m a 60D owner already, I think I am ready to use a telephoto lens! Kidding!


This is the mode dial, together with the switch.

Actually, the 60D and the 5D Mark III have some certain similarities. The photo above shows you everything.

Unfortunately for the 60D, there’s only one C mode (yep, custom mode, but I don’t have a hell of an idea to use this function!). But that’s okay, I don’t even know how to use it. I though that was the “Creative Filter” mode. LOL.

The switch is actually at the TOP LEFT side of the 60D, if the 550D has it on the TOP RIGHT SIDE. Indeed, this is very difficult if you’re used to having that mode dial and switch at your RIGHT side, all thanks to this LCD status panel that appears in orange light, it is actually an “obstacle” for me, but for some pros and serious amateurs out there, it is convenient.


LCD status panel|One is not lit, the other one is lit!

Now how the hell should I use this… LCD status panel? All I know is the ISO thing, and that’s about it. If you’ll notice the EXIF data of some of my photographs, the most frequent ISO would be ISO 100, making sure that the photos are smooth and grain-free, but to achieve the ±0 EV, I think it’s almost impossible to achieve something that is formula-driven by:

ISO 100 –> EV ±0 –> shutter speed + aperture. Usually, everything should be balanced, from aperture to shutter speed, but it should be taken note that EV ±0 is usually the standard when it comes to adjusting the aperture and the shutter speed.

Before, 1/30 would be the default in my standards. But come to think of it, you’re not a true-blooded amateur if you’re going to rely on the default settings. Experiment on a certain basis so that you’ll get the best results.


Articulate LCD screen — this has the same quality with Apple’s retina display, brought to you by Sharp.

It is not a joke that the LCD screen of the 60D is very much crystal clear — similar to that of Apple’s retina display. If you think about obsessing with crystal clarity, the 60D’s LCD monitor is actually much more crystal clear than (that of) the 550D’s.

It is also helpful when you’re going to take photographs of amazing ceiling art (hello, Basilica fresco!).

Sample Photographs

Apologies if I failed to use the RAW mode (Large — high quality). I only used the S-RAW mode, which is SMALL!

How to take a shot using the articulate LCD monitor?

Especially for the “almost-peace sign part,” this was the procedure…


I believe this is the subject. Oh yeah, it’s very difficult to take a shot of a perfect circle of this one unless your LCD monitor’s actually articulate.


Okay, so this is how the articuate LCD monitor looks like… but what about the camera? How does it look like if in this case?


Here’s the set-up! Tee-hee, pardon me for the photo! It seemed that I was not ready to shoot it properly, though!

Anyways, this is it! Shoot like a PRO will come back just in case you want more tutorials! ❤ However, there’s a part II for this post, so stay tuned!

Photography Tips from Molybdenum Studios (MSP Person)


HA, that’s me, actually. Pardon if I am not good in retouching lol.

*Results may vary depending upon the person.

Prelude

If you’re really passionate about being hired in weddings, magazines… or maybe school projects, for instance, here are some of the tips and advice I compiled from amateur and pro photographers… and also from my personal experience.

I am neither a professional photographer nor a photography expert, but recently, I simply thought of writing some photography tips in a notebook so that I could show you how I actually “work” with the camera.

So, if you’re really interested in photography, let me share you a few tips and advice you might wanna know about:

1.) There is no need for you to religiously follow all the rules to take a decent or a good photograph.

The rule of thirds is the usual norm when you compose your subject. However, this doesn’t really work ALL the time. You need to find the best angle even without following the rule of thirds. Each focal length has its own specialization.

2.) No, not even one single photograph is one-shot perfect.

That is why the usual, general and the most overrated rule is to “shoot in RAW.” Actually, the main purpose of photo editing is to correct certain portions. Enhancements and effects usually depend upon certain preferences. However, if your lens is decent enough to take a good photograph (although not necessarily one-shot perfect), then you may opt not to shoot in RAW at all.

3.) If your photo is good enough (at least, in your own perspective), there’s no need for you to edit it.

Editing a photo that has good aesthetics is no use at all, if that’s the case. If you think that the colors and the composition are good enough, then there’s no need for you to edit it.

4.) You don’t really need a tripod unless necessary.

Tables, books and certain types of bags make a better alternative for a tripod. You know what? I take long-exposure shots without the help of a tripod. Even fireworks. A tripod is after all, a personal preference.

5.) Sometimes, pop-up flashes create good photographs.

If you’re not satisfied with the lighting, or if there’s a certain “against-the-light” phenomena occurring, a pop-up flash is needed. However, there are certain times when a diffuser is needed.

6.) Composition should always be the top priority.

Find the best angles for you to compose a shot. Straight angles usually come out in unflattering and boring results, while extremes and bizarre angles might lead you to much better results.

7.) If everything should depend upon the photographer, that is not necessarily correct. Every photographer has his/her own personal preferences and style/s, so they have the freedom to choose their lenses/camera bodies/equipment/freedom to edit.

People would say, “It always depends upon the photographer. Well, HELL NO. Usually, it depends upon the lens that was used. If you use a lens with a damn good quality, that should not totally make your photos “good.” It actually motivates the person to take more photographs for a clearer view.

Anyways, to look for a lens, you should consider the following: Full-time manual focusing (1:3 macro ratio is the most ideal), over-all quality and most of all, flexibility. I actually do not recommend you to buy a superzoom lens since its manual focusing range is limited (that means, it cannot offer full-time manual focusing). That’s why buying a superzoom lens obviously means that you’re not the type of person who changes lenses (although it’s a hassle, at least non-flexible/specialized lenses teach perseverance).

8.) Manual Mode is for everyone.

If you really want to learn photography, maximize the manual mode more than P mode or CA mode (Canon user here, BTW). Always maintain ±0 EV depending upon lighting situations. Set ISO to AUTO since this helps you maintain the ±0 EV and the desired aperture and shutter speed.

⚠ Using the Manual Mode is not desired when taking photos in a hurry.

9.) Capture certain moments effortlessly.


Please credit|Remember this is not a scandal! Only a sample photo!

Doing a roleplay should never be taken seriously. In fact, captured moments should have a story behind it, or maybe not. After all, capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments are not that hard to do!

10.) Explore, Experiment!

Always have the time to maximize your camera settings. It may be hassle, but knowing almost everything in your camera might as well earn you a one-way ticket to a full-frame DSLR. Find new ways to take photographs of subjects with natural or artificial light (besides flash of course) and always find the right angle to flatter your subjects. It’s never too late to improve your photography style, and please, never ever copy the style of other people since there’s always room for creativity!

Shoot Like a PRO 101

Disclaimer: This is to teach you guys how to do it the right way. Sorry if I’m a Mac user, but if you could bear with my tutorial, here you go. Oh, and I’m no professional photographer either. This is designed to those who haven’t discover yet the potentials of digital photography.

How to do everything like the PRO’s do?

While most of us enthusiasts are really curious about the world, we are also curious about why RAW is a flexible format. Everyone said it’s the file format of post-processing, or let’s say, it’s a film negative equivalent.

In RAW imaging, it’s like this: Open your iPhoto, and choose a RAW file. You’ll see that the white balance is set to its native number.

So here are the basics that you should know…

Step One: Shoot in RAW


Look at the portion where temperature and tint likes. A RAW image will show you the native white balance and of course, the tint, rather than the pointer positioned on the middle (neutral mode).

Shooting in RAW gives you the advantage and opportunities to post-process your photos with ease and flexibility. However, the downside is, shooting in RAW consumes memory space and it will take you a long time to post-process everything in RAW. Aside from that, you should have a post-processing software just to have your RAW file viewed. Luckily, the Mac has iPhoto pre-installed in it.

For Windows users, don’t worry, your DSLR might be supplied a software designed to view and to edit RAW images.

Step Two: Upload your photos in photo-organizing apps such as iPhoto.


iPhoto isn’t only designed for organizing and arranging photos, it also has built-in HDR through the help of reducing shadows.

If you happen to use Windows, I really can’t answer your question since I really find it more comfortable to edit photos in Mac. Well, here’s the thing: Macs provide everything for you and it’s much more ideal to use Photoshop in Mac, I just don’t know why.

iPhoto is one of the most reliable software (or maybe Photoshop Elements, but I haven’t tried one yet) to quickly edit and post-process photos, for Macintosh, that is.

Step Three: Always have Lightroom 3 installed on your computer


You won’t actually survive if you d0n’t have Lightroom installed, just in case you want to make your sky bluer than ever.

There are things that Lightroom could do that Photoshop cannot as is do. Perspective control is one of them, and without any doubt, Lightroom does it faster than Photoshop. Of course, you may change the white balance if you want, but make sure you drag the post-processed photo directly from iPhoto. It is still in RAW I think, but it seems more convenient since it helps you edit more and of course, experiment.

Step Four: Always have Photoshop installed on your computer


This is actually a photo combined with two photos, resulting from preference of tint done in Lightroom.

Of course, with the post-processing thing, watermarking is very important. This is to protect your photos just in case someone else uses it.

Although according to the Digital Photography Manual, Photoshop is a very expensive software which is very complicated to use, and some of the features there will never be used by an average enthusiast. However, this one is very helpful when creating effects and of course, watermarking photos.

Also, having Photoshop doesn’t only give you the advantage of watermarking photos, it may also let you create effects or maybe combine two pictures, then set the blend mode to either Multiply or Soft Light.

Take note: Unless you’re going to download it straight from the Internet, Photoshop IS a really hard-to-get software. Downloading it is “easy,” but look, it will ask you for a serial number for verification, and I really discourage cracks. It doesn’t help actually, so rather search for serial numbers if you want.

I am not advocating piracy, but just to be practical, you have to download at your own risk.