Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mga Kabayan, Meet Edward Cabalit aka Light Stalker, our 24th Photographer of the Week!

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"The Golden Gate Bridge"

The Golden Gate Bridge

About The Winning Photo:

I have visited the bridge several times and took countless photo
of it. Every time I visit, I always look for the uncommon angle or
view of it. On this particular shot, I wanted to frame the SF side
tower with the Marin side tower, and it was made possible with
the use of a 70-300mm lens.


Edward Cabalit aka Light Stalker

I spent most of my childhood in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, the Philippines. It was after college that I stepped out of the comfort of home to face the world on my own. (Gee, if not for this write-up, I wouldn't have realized that 11 years have passed since I started on this journey. Time travels so fast!)

Of those 11 years, I spent an average of three years in each city that I lived in: Manila/Makati, Cebu, and San Jose, CA. I've been living and working in San Jose for almost three years now. Does this mean I'm going to move again? I can't really tell yet, but I am certain that -- 10 to 15 years from now -- I'll be back in the Philippines for good.

I work as a Financial Analyst for a semiconductor company in the Bay area, and have always been in the Financial and Accounting fields since I began working.

My journey into the world of photography began when I moved to California.
Being new to the state and having few friends here, I spent the weekends driving out of town. California is so beautiful that I felt it was a waste to explore this vast state without documenting it. This is the reason that I bought my first Point and Shoot.

I'd like to mention that although I now have two DSLR bodies, 75% of the time when I go out to shoot, I either have the 35mm film SLR EOS 3/s system or the A1's system.

I'm not really sure where my photographic roots are yet, as my own style is still evolving! One thing I am certain of: before tripping the shutter, I always ask myself " how can I frame or compose the subject differently than everyone else?"

I love to shoot old towns, vintage items, air shows, freestyle motocross, subjects with Bokeh, and portraiture.

I am currently doing a personal project: creating a San Francisco Photo Book. I am hoping to complete it by November, as this would be a great gift to my parents and brothers who aren't as fortunate as I am to experience this beautiful city.

I would like to learn more about strobe lighting and portraiture.

Five years from now, maybe I'll be shooting more weddings or portraiture on weekends. However, I still do not see myself going pro with this. Too much pressure and stress...hehe.

15 to 20 years from now, perhaps I'll be in one of the remote regions of the Philippines, moving from one town to the next, documenting the lives of the people who live there. I am hoping that it would be my legacy, and that my photos will live on after I am gone.


Three Photographs I Like:

"Man-Made Forest"
Man Made Forest

Photo taken on my recent trip to my home province.
The scene is one of a popular stop on every Bohol tour.


"Chuck Taylor All-Star"
Chuck Taylor All-Stars

This is the most viewed photo in my stream. Strangely, I didn't expect this one to be one of the top viewed. c",)


"Your Life, Your Boat"
your life your boat

Bokeh or shallow DOF is always close to my heart.
Coincidentally, all of the photos that I chose were shot on 35mm film.
It just confirms my preference for film over digital.
If cost were not an issue, I would be shooting film all the time.

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Edited by © *DEE and pinoyphotog.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mga Kabayan, Meet Binh Ly aka bly2k, our "Photographer of the Week" and Winner of Contest #23!

Admin's foreword:

"I recall bly2k's hesitance when I first invited him to join KABAYAN, saying he's not a Filipino nor a Fil-American. He only agreed to join after I assured him that we have other nationalities in our group. I am glad he's with us; and happy for him that he's won this contest." :D


"nyc st. patrick's cathedral"

nyc st. patrick's cathedral spring 2008 2337

About The Winning Photo:

I've been to the St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC many times and I got bored of the usual rectilinear perspectives. So one day I decided to bring my fisheye lens just to see what I can do inside the church. When I got in, I got disappointed that tripods were not allowed so I had to handhold this shot at f/2.8. To compose, I kneeled down on the floor and pointed my camera slightly upwards because I knew I wanted to capture the grand beauty and architecture of this church from a "fisheye" perspective.


contest 23 winner

Binh Ly aka bly2k,
entirely in his own words (no editing necessary - pinoyphotog):

I was born in the Philippines to Vietnamese parents. I always get asked why I'm not a Filipino citizen - that's because the Philippines does not give citizenship by birth! I came here to the U.S. right after college (UPLB) and have been living in NJ since. I love to go out and explore nature's beauty and capture what I see through my lens. Too bad I have motion sickness and I hate getting in the plane just like I hate my dentist. I also love playing the acoustic guitar as much as I love photography.

I was born digital and started taking photographs only very recently with no prior experience. There was no why or how, I just happened to stumble upon the concept of bokeh and wide aperture on the internet and I had to give it a try. The rest is history.

Whenever I go out, in my bag you'll find a Canon 1DS Mark II, a 24-105 lens, a Gitzo tripod, a couple of GND filters, and a circular polarizer. The tripod by the way is for self defense since I tend to take pictures only at dawn and at dusk and it can get scary out there sometimes.

There is no specific person who is my main influence in photography. I do love landscape photography the most so I can appreciate some good landscape photographers out there. Most of them are simply my friends and contacts on flickr and (specifically people from the Landscape Photographer forum).

I love taking pictures of landscape, nature, people, and architecture. I do have a little interest in studio photography too but I just don't have the charm to attract beautiful ladies who are willing to model for me. So I have a couple of loving alien bees strobes at home looking for pretty models, if you're interested. :)

Five years from now, I will probably have visited at least a couple of U.S. national parks and have taken thousands of pictures and met hundreds more friends. If the studio photography works out well, I can try to do that for close friends and family on special occasions. I love it so much when I take pictures for friends at birthdays, outings, events and they are always happy to have their photos taken as a keepsake for their memories. I believe that when time has passed, all we have left are nothing but photographs and memories (yes I'm a fan of Jim Croce).


The following are some pictures that make me happy:

- Broken pier in Ocean City, NJ:

I thought New Jersey was such a boring state until I discovered this gem on
flickr. Just goes to show, there is always beauty nearby if you look hard

new jersey shore broken pier spring 2008


- Eagle cliff falls in Watkins glen, NY:

This photo was taken on my first photo outing date with Nel (skylove on
flickr). It just brings back some memories of how much fun we had waking up
very early everyday to get good light on our subjects.

havana glen eagle cliff falls spring 2008<br />2681


- Headless figures at Princeton University, NJ:

This photo again was taken just literally in my backyard. It also taught me
the importance of good light in making great photographs.

princeton spring 2008 1934

As you can see, I crave good light and I love to wake up early in the
morning (or stay out late at dusk) for 2 reasons: there are less people
around and most landscape subjects look very good only during this time.


bly2k's Footnote:
("romance is in the air? :p - pinoyphotog)

I know you didn't ask but I just wanted to add one more thing: I accidentally met
a beautiful person on flickr last year and we're now very happy together.

It's so funny how sometimes a simple hobby like photography can bring people
together no matter how much distance there is among us. I know sometimes
we get caught up in the daily grind but think about how many people you've met
on flickr that grew up in the same hometown/country as you and eventually became
your very good friends.

So keep making more friends, keep pressing that shutter, keep exploring the world,
and do it now while you're still young.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mga Kabayan: Farl -- "Family" Contest Winner --Shares Some Valuable Photo Tips!

on the winning picture

I have several “family” shots, but this one brings it home the most. It makes me wistful. Too bad that it is almost impossible to make a self portrait like this for me, my wife and my daughter. Being the one behind the camera has its limits.

Phototip: Make the late afternoon sun work for you.
The silhouette technique is described in detail here.

Canon EOS 350D, 1/3200 s, f/5.6, 300 mm, ISO 100, +2/3 EV
uncropped, warmified, saturated, highlighted, sharpened
using picasa

Tibubeneng Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

As my profile has already been featured in the past, I will just present 3 favorite photographs.

1. Taken at the Mekong Delta where the giant river pours out of South Vietnam before joining the South China Sea. Depending on the season, the river rises and falls with the rushing volume of waters from its tributaries. Occasionally, the sea gets its revenge when tidal surges penetrate way deep inland. The river is so wide that it has numerous islands and some, like this one, have their own narrow riverine divides- a river within a river.

Phototip: To get a shot at a high angle, I stood up and planted my feet wide apart firmly at the side of the boat for balance. I had to be still or else I would unsettle the boat. Let’s say my companions almost freaked out.

Canon EOS 350D, 1/200s, f/5.6, 18 mm, ISO 400, +1/3 EV
uncropped, saturated, sharpened using picasa
Unicorn Island, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam


2. The second picture is also dangerous not to me but to my subject, my wife (we still were going out when I took this shot). The volcanic pool temperature was approaching 80 degrees, I think, so we did not even dare dip our hands. Dangerous, scalding and stinking with the stench of sulfur, this is the hottest spot of the Mambukal resort. The waters from this hot cauldron are pumped and diluted with cold spring water into nearby dipping pool and in the hot Ishikawa onsen baths, where temperatures are a soothing and comfortable 35 degrees centigrade. Hot steam spas are a feature of Mambukal which is saddled in the active volcano that is Mount Canlaon.

Phototip: We had to wake up early (dawn) to get a shot that shows off the steam playing against the heavy morning mist. In brighter light, the hot white steam would get lost.

Canon EOS 350D, 0.6 sec (3/5), f/22, 18 mm, ISO 400, -1/3 EV
uncropped, sharpened in picasa
Mambukal, Murcia, Negros Occidental, the Philippines


3. The last photo again involves water. The Balinese regularly bathe in the sacred waters of the 10th century Tirta Empul to heal their body and purify their mind, not to cool down or to hang out. The ritual includes offerings, prayers and blessings from the temple priests.

Phototip: Location, location, location. I claimed a stake at the narrow ledge of the pool just beside the first spout. I literally sat on my haunches as I mounted the tripod quite low and attached 2 ND filters so as to achieve long exposures even during the day. The worshippers who bathe a few feet in front of me then became fair game. I observed how long a bather would pause to determine the optimum exposure time and waited to get one singular subject come near me.

Tirta Empul
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, 13 s, f/32, 41 mm, ISO 100
uncropped, lightened slightly, shot with a stack of 2 ND 0.9 (8x) filters
Pura Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

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Sunday, July 6, 2008

Mga Kabayan, Meet "i_am_bishop" and "budslife," The Two Winners of Contest #21, "EYE(S)!"

Co-Winner "i_am_bishop":

“What's up slick?”

What's up slick?

About The Winning Photo:

I took it at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife in Quezon Ave., in the Philippines.
It's a White-Breasted Sea Eagle. I tried to get in closer for the shot when it suddenly moved towards me... luckily I was able to click it.


Me, taken by my wife...

I am Edwin Calica Cacayorin, Jr., aka "i_am_bishop",
a lawyer by profession and a photo hobbyist.

Sometime in the summer of 2008, a friend, pro photographer
Bobbot Meru, encouraged me to try photography. So I did.

Currently, I use a Canon Rebel XTi with a standard kit lens
and a Sigma 70-300 DG APO.

There are a lot of photographers who influence my
photography style. Some of them are Farl, Soul101, doctony,
_rebekka, Dusko Almosa, dreadfuldan, araigordai, Kris Kros,
Stuck in Customs, i b u, lichtmaedel, sati k, scubapup,
sam_samantha, edgarjlaw, Barry Lu, The Scalpel Master
Sir Cam, Brilliant Shadow Photography, redsago, av producer
and practically most of my contacts.

Whatever photographic subjects there is, I’m interested
to shoot. I would have loved to photograph people but I’m
a bit concerned of invading their privacy.

Five years from now, I see myself doing photography


These are the three pictures which make me proud:

"Three-Leaf Clover"

Three-Leaf Clover





"Batang Gumasa"

Batang Gumasa


Co-Winner "budslife":

"Ant Lion"

Ant Lion Portrait

About The Winning Photo:

Gear used: D40x with 105mm and (KENKO) full extension tube 36mm+20mm+12mm.

Lighting used: SB 800 as commander 2 SB-R200 remote flash.

Exif Data: F 22 1/100s ISO 200 spot metering.



Thanks to all Kabayan!

My name is Buddy Venturanza, aka "budslife,"
and I work in Saudi Arabia as a Technical Engineer.

I love travel and adventure, especially scuba diving and hiking. I used to live in Caloocan City, Metro Manila, the Philippines.

A self-schooled photographer, I became a serious hobbyist from the first time -- back in 1997 -- that I saw the beauty of many things through my camera. To this day, I keep on taking pictures of different places and things to remember all my journeys by. But due to many priorities I didn't pay much attention to this hobby until I met one of my friends, Filan Ventic, in 2003. Filan and I work in the same company here in Saudi, and like me, he also has a huge interest in photography. He helped develop my interest in photography and I soon bought my very first digital camera, a Nikon D70s. Filan also introduced me to scuba diving, and helped me to discover the beauty of nature under the sea.

Aside from the D70s, I also have a D40x plus a few lenses; as well as an F-801s and a 2000 FCW Hasselblad 35mm film cameras.

My shooting friends are also the main influence in my photography, as we learn from each other by sharing ideas and techniques. Currently, I love taking macro, wildlife and underwater photos. I also enjoy sharing my photographs with others as I have found that, in life, there will always be room for improvement. I am interested in learning more about 3D animation, fashion and wedding photography, too.

I see myself, five years from now, still behind the lens capturing the moments and preserving different emotions, in all the different places that I have been to, in the hope that I can share these with other people who have not to seen them.


Three photos that I like:

This image defines my underwater explorations that allow me to share the beauty in the deep ocean that some people don't get to see.

Jack Fish


This is a reflection of how, just like the sands, people's lives are shaped by things around us.

Sand Language


This image reminds me that we're never alone, that nothing is impossible and that with unity and courage, we can achieve anything we want.

Team Work

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Interview/editing by Nanayof2 and pinoyphotog.