Photography Inspiration: Mang Mang

There are times I need to see to something quirky to get me through a uninspiring day —well technically its not that the day is uninspiring but maybe I'm just depressed or I'm having this bad case of  hunger to create something.

One of my favorite quirky photographers is Mang Mang. She a gorgeous Shanghai based photographer who does this quirky and fun self-portraits of herself, exploring with different themes from feminine emotions to traveling through the dreamscape using a old luggage bag. She is trained to be an actress but instead of being one she just opened her photography and painting studio and started her fun and quirky series. Mang Mang does everything by herself from being the photographer to being the one designing the set.

Yep this is Mang Mang and so is every person in the next photographs.
From the series Zhao Bibi
From the series Owl
From the series Bat
From the series Sisters
From the series Lie
(Source: Edge)

Nori SquareBounce

I just saw one of the most innovative accessory and probably a must have for every photographers and videographers. Enter the Nori SquareBounce, it is a fresh take from the collapsible reflector that is as compact and as easy to use as an umbrella and did I mention that it also works as an umbrella too.

Here is a short introductory video of the Nori Square Bounce:

My initial reaction while watching the video:

I really like the concept of the SquareBounce since my 55" collapsible reflector is way to big and sometimes too bulky that I often leave it at home when I go travelling. Now my only problem I have right now is that this is too expensive since I got my 55" reflector for just about $25 and if I am getting the Nori SquareBounce it would cost me $189.

I thinking wait and see for mean time and maybe see more variations in size and improvements, hopefully some reviews and of course other useful applications with the said product that can convince me that having a SquareBounce is worth investing.

(Source: PetaPixel & SquareBounce Reflector)

When Buying New Gear

Two days ago I have been dogging myself whether or not to buy that sweet studio flash deal I saw in the internet but then I realize that I am just panic buying again since I have a upcoming shoot. Right now I am choosing whether to buy a new cheap-o flash trigger or 2 packs of 4 pcs rechargeable batteries or add another one of those cheap-o but definitely a keeper flash. 
This bad boys is around $40
Two packs of this is just about $40
Would you believe that this baby is just about $80 and definitely exceeded my expectation
Those three items will be perfect for my upcoming shoot but I only need one or two since I do not want to load a lot of stuff inside my bag and above that I need more money because I have decided to just save more and wait until I can purchase a 300ws flash head and a power pack at the same time which will probably cost me about $400. Now you must be wonder what am I trying to get across to you, well what I am trying to illustrate to you guys is that when buying a gear we sometimes overlook the simplest solution to avoid emptying our bank. I am going to share you guys some guide question to dwell on to help you to do a well thought out plan when purchasing a new gear.

1. Do I really need it? - The most basic and probably the most important question of all, usually I follow up this question with: "How often will I use it?" and if I am satisfied with my answers then I go to the next question which is...

2. What are the other important items I could buy with the money allotted for this purchase? - Let's just say that you are going to buy a Elinchrom but with that money you can buy a secondhand car or probably a new lens. This question is supported with another question: "How much more money do I need to add to get this X" If you are going to buy a Sigma lens but then you saw sweeter Canon lens with just a bit of additional expense then why settle for the Sigma when you can wait.

3. What about inexpensive gears? -  I know that as a photographer you should invest on your gear but would you rather empty your bank account just to "invest" on a top of the line gear. This question is usually supported with the question: "Maybe I can just rent one" if you are not going to use it often but you really need that gear to get your vision done then by all means just rent the stuff.

4. Is there a DIY version out there? -  typically no brainer but hey if you can manage to build a DIY version of something that you really want then wouldn't that be way better than just walking to the store and purchasing your desired item? You'll never know maybe you could probably just build that DIY Project that will definitely help other photographers out there.

5. Do I want it just so I can brag? - There is nothing I hate more than people who just buy camera gear just to showoff. This question is best followed up with: "Do I like the item just because of the specs?" This is the problem with some people, they can still shoot a photograph even if their cameras have lower specs because lower specs doesn't mean poor image quality.

These are the 5 stuff to consider when buying gear and hopefully you guys find this post informative.

What about you? What do you ask yourself when buying new camera gear? Hit the comments and lets discuss!

Musicians I Want To Photograph Before I Die.

As a photographer and a big fan of good music I am forced to accept the fact that only professional concert photographers are allowed to shoot in a big concert, and If I even managed to get pass that level I have to bear in mind that I am only given 3 songs to shoot. Apart from shooting at concerts I'd also want to take portraits (and if possible be a personal photographer) of some musicians but alas I still need all that lessons and experiences that makes a photographer worthy for the job. Nonetheless I have compiled a short list of musicians (in no order) I wanted to photograph before I die. Hopefully they are still alive and still out there kicking ass when the time comes that I consider myself as a worthy photographer.

1. Dave Grohl - If you don't know this guy then GTFO here. Let's face it. He is the Jesus of Rock and through the years he has proven himself to the world and he only keeps on getting better.

2. BB King - I have read his autobiography and I am amazed with how much he gambled just to be in the place where he is standing now. If there is one thing BB King and I share it is how we treat our instruments, he calls his guitar Lucille and I call  my camera Canndice and we both cherish our instruments as if it is a sister or a dear old friend.

3. Bambu - Do not mistake this guy for the other Bamboo (Mañalac), but they are both great musicians in their respective genres. Bambu or Bam is a full blooded Filipino hip hop artist based in the U.S. Most of his songs are based on his real life experiences which unlike mainstream hip hop artists who just talk about getting booty and cash. He did a show here last April 14 with Mastaplann and I am regretting not being able to attend his show. 

4. Eddie Vedder - This guy made my high school life awesome, I still remember listening to Pearl Jam in a 512mb mp3 player while walking on my way home usually pondering about what would happen in the future. I still do listen to Pearl Jam every now and then just to relieve that carefree life I used to have

5. Blue Scholars - I first learned about this awesome duo when I accidentally clicked their Joe Metro video on Youtube and upon the opening lines and there I instantly knew that they will be one of my favorites. Blue Scholars is a Seattle based hip hop duo of DJ Sabzi and MC Geologic also know as Prometheus Brown. I cannot help but be amazed with this duo, maybe it is because their music grows into you.

6. Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes - I first heard the music of Conor Oberst in Bright Eyes' album Digital Ash In A Digital Urn which some how turned my life upside down because I am really into Metal music during the time I discovered Bright Eyes. Conor Oberst managed to infuse his dark sense of humor to the playful melody of his songs. I just can't help to be amazed to his lyrical genius.

7. Kat Agarrado of Sinosikat? - I recently met Kat Aggarado when we were at B-Side, apparently she is friends with my awesome boss who later introduced me to her. She can definitely turn any bad day into a awesome one and if you are lucky enough to watch their performance you wouldn't be disappointed because of her feisty nature on stage that often leaves people wanting for more. 

8. Avenged Sevenfold - In the past I often listen to metal and heavy metal music because back then I believe that metal songs speak for what I really feel. Avenged Sevenfold or A7X is one of those bands, from their hard hitting songs like "Bat Country" to the anthem song "Seize the Day", A7X was like my companion to the get through the sick world filled with crap. I still do listen to A7X to give me that rush and rage to fuel my energy for work. Recently A7X was here in the Philippines and again I missed a opportunity of a lifetime by missing it. Fuck.

9. Sonny Rollins - Although I am not much into the jazz scene I have a high regard for all the jazz musicians out there but the one that I am really digging the most is Sonny Rollins. For me he is one hell a master musician, he knows how to capture your soul through your ears with his killer sax skills. Every time I listen to his songs I feel inclined to wear a suit, pour in some scotch and puff a cigarette that is how classy Sonny Rollins can make me feel.

10. Brandon Boyd of Incubus - If there is a person who embodies everything that I wanted to be it would be Brandon Boyd. He is a visual artist, musician, famous, nice guy, rich and above all good looking. Aside from being famous and all that, His music is a staple part of me and as a kid of the 90s I grew up listening to Incubus. I even made some of their songs my life anthems like when getting over a failed relationship I just play "Nice To Know You" on loop for hours. 

Those are some of the musicians I want to photograph before I die. To be honest the list would be endless but maybe this is enough for now. 

Care to share who are your must photograph musicians before you die?

Photography Inspiration: Yulia Gorbachenko

I discovered this awesome portfolio of Yulia Gorbachenko while looking around the internet for inspiring photos to keep my creative juices flowing and mostly is that need something inspiring since I have two upcoming shoots. I am just astounded with her works what really captivated me was the rich and bold colors that pop, it is as if I am looking at explosion of colors that turns into beautiful women.

More of her awesome works here.

Avengers Assembled.

In light with the premiere showing of the much anticipated film The Avengers (which I will watch tonight for free) I found this really awesome still life photos made by Portland based advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy for Target. Seems that the stuff used to create every piece is sold in Target.

Check out the awesome details here

Rare Fisheye Lens Is On Sale

Image © Tony Hurst.
HOLY MOMMA! Is that a lens? It looks more like a orb straight from a Indiana Jones flick! Well apparently this huge chunk of glass is a Nikkor 6mm F2.8 and is known to offer the world's most extreme wide angle. 

The lens was first seen at the 1970 Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany. The genius doesn't stop there this glass offers an angle view of 220º enough to cover a 24x36mm image area. 1970s and 220º angle view at F2.8? It seem to me that during that time photography is waaay ahead of times. According to the post in British Journal of Photography Gray Levett a co-founder of the Grays of Westminster states that he and Tony Hurst spent six months on locating this beauty and found it somewhere overseas. Of course any camera geek/collector would want to have this in their collection so if you are already having the shakes just by looking at this piece of glass then you better hit the jump and learn more about this lens. If you just have a  spare £100,000.00 by your side or sitting idly in the bank then you are in luck.

No need to worry if you are using a Canon camera since there are lens adapters out there in the market.

(Source: British Journal of Photography)

Being Steven Baillie.

Traveling to different places just to meet and photograph gorgeous women is what I'd probably wanted to do someday but take it from Steven Baillie (a.k.a The Purveyor), he is a professional model scout/photographer who runs around the world in search for the most beautiful women in the planet. After watching his videos I have come into a conclusion that yes it is freaking awesome to travel and meet such gorgeous women BUT it is never be a walk in the park. Watch the video and find out why.

If there is one thing that I applaud to this guy is that he has a sharp eye to see who will be the next IT girl because basically one doesn't just have to be hot or sexy or pretty but these women also need to have attitude that can raise them above other women and a commanding persona to men to do their bidding.

Hit the link for more episodes of The Purveyor.

Nokia 808 PureView

41 megapixels. Yep you have read it right! The Nokia 808 PureView has 41 megapixels which beats the crap out of the iPhone 4S camera. As much as I would like to talk about the technical aspects of the smartphone I'll just show you this clip from youtube where they released a video which is totally made using the PureView. Keep in mind though that the video is made of entirely by professionals who do a hell of a fine job.

I would love to have this kind of phone since I live and breathe photography but I am having second thoughts since the phone is running on a dead platform which is a Symbian apart from that the phone costs around 450 euros which is almost the same amount of money for a lens or probably a second hand Sony NEX-5. If OS is not only an issue I'd buy this one in a heartbeat because of its portability and of course it is a smartphone but as the old saying goes "you can't have it all". Hopefully in the near future (maybe after 6 months) this neat piece of a phone will have an update and improve the OS issue.

(Source: Gadgets Magazine)

Free fall Fashion Photoshoot using HTC One X

What do you get when you suited a fashion photography student with free falling gear, gave him a smartphone to use as a camera and have a super hot professional free falling supermodel?

Well, you get this:

Cool right? This is the latest TV ad for the HTC One X where they took Nick Jojola a fashion photography student and his model is none other than Roberta Mancino a world renowned skydiver turned supermodel.

Nick Jojola showing the shot.
The ad in youtube garnered a great deal of mix reactions, there are those who liked it and said that they are considering to buy the phone while some people dismissed the idea of using a smartphone to take photos while free falling, others are some what annoyed for some reason and lastly some are probably Apple kids trolling. 

I'm a bit skeptical on the video since there are is lot of stuff to consider one is like how was he able to capture that photo since the phone is touch screen while wearing gloves? And how come he can hold the phone steady as if he was on land? I have so many questions to them but nonetheless I am impressed with the advert since most TVCs here in the Philippines are fucked up to the point of no return.

Case in point:

Before we close in I figure you guys should check out the documentary of the advert too.

So yeah while we may not exactly know what really happened or whether if the ad and the documentary was telling the truth or not at least we know that maybe in the near future there is this one phone that can serve as a kickass camera without the bulk where we can take anywhere. For now I'd like to get my hands on a HTC One X for a phone upgrade.

(Sources: Fubiz & Shinesquad for the photo.)

Nicola Kuperus' Dark Imagery in Vivid Colors

Not every day you get you to see such works that are well though out, simple and yet effective. One example is the awesome works are the ones of Nicola Kuperus who is from Detroit. Nicola Kuperus' works is a mix of colors and everyday tragedies without the mess of blood and organs though.

Check her out here.

A Different Light

Cara Phillips a photographer from Detroit shot these wonderful portraits using UV lights to illuminate her subjects. The portraits shows and emphasizes the beauty of the imperfections of the skin under a different wave length of light.

(Source: Fubiz)

Haunting and Honest

Brutally haunting and honest- these are the words that etched my mind while I was viewing "Welcome Home, The Story of Scott Ostrom" by Craig F. Walker, the winner of Pulitzer Prize in the Feature Photography category. It is about the story of Scott Ostrom a 27-year old war veteran who is suffering from PSTD or post-traumatic disorder. What I liked about this photography series is that it is straight forward, no fancy compositions and no elaborate angles its just raw emotions. What really grab me the most through this series is that it is as if you we're the one following the life of Scott through the lens.

Here are some of the photos that sent chills down my spine. The 4th photography maybe too graphic for your taste but that's you call if you are going to look at it and I don't want anyone bitching that I didn't warn them.

Scott is comforted by a friend during an argument with his girlfriend over the phone. Sitting on the bed, he started crying. He said the anxiety he experienced that day was brought on by her moving all of her belongings out. Scott said she also took his anti-anxiety and sleep medication. 'I'm not going to be able to sleep tonight - I'm not going to get over this panic attack. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post - December 29, 2011)
Scott looks over his military service records and weeps after being told his apartment application had been turned down. The leasing manager said he couldn't allow Scott to move in because of an assault charge on his background check. Though Scott had his honorable discharge papers and his good-conduct medal, Scott said they meant nothing. 'I'm not a criminal. You would think this would be worth something. It should be. It's not, though.' (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post - December 29, 2011)
After a sleepless night, Scott stares out the window of his new apartment, in Broomfield, Colo. 'I decided to move because there were too many bad memories at that apartment. I was arrested twice, there's blood all over the bathroom floor, it was small, it was loud,' Scott said. He hoped for a fresh start, but just two weeks later his old feelings had resurfaced. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post- December 29, 2011)
Scott counts the stitches in his wrist a few days after he attempted suicide. Scott said many times he should have died overseas, and during a fight with his girlfriend, she agreed. 'I just grabbed a pair of scissors tried jabbing them into my neck, but they were closed,' Scott said. 'So I grabbed a nice kitchen knife and cut my wrists.' He said he believes every combat vet struggling with PTSD has a contingency plan. 'Every one of us has a suicide plan. We all know how to kill, and we all have a plan to kill ourselves.' (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post - December 29, 2011)

View the rest of the series here.

Nero Multi Trigger: The One B.A.M.F. Trigger


You think you have one hell of a shutter finger for that perfect moment? No? Well, worry not as it turns out there is this awesome thing called Nero Trigger. This trigger has highly sensitive optical, sound and laser sensors  that can be programmed to capture that moment like a high speed shot of a bullet slicing a playing card

 or that splashing something on someone's face.

The trigger can be mounted on Canon or Nikon hot shoe (good news to Canon and Nikon users) and runs on a pair of AAA batteries. Normally I would rejoice like throw confetti but this awesome trigger costs about $200 which I think I should spend on something practical but hey if you have the money then by all means get this one.

Learn more about the Nero Trigger here.

(Source: Petapixel)

Photography Inspiration: SPR/PPL

SPR/PPL or SuperPeople is a collaboration between Andy Irwin & Luke Bryne. Apart from photography they also do art direction, graphic design (which is freaking awesome) set design and films. This only shows that two heads are better than one, and with their case two creative heads is way freaking better.

Do check them out here

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About Me

My photo

Patrick Jude M. Ilagan born June 24, 1990 is a graphic designer, photographer and content specialist based in Manila, Philippines. Patrick is a graduate of University of Santo Tomas wherein he earned his degree in Fine Arts major in Advertising.

After graduating he worked as a graphic designer and art director for on Gadgets Magazine under Great Minds Media Inc. which is a publishing company based in Quezon City, Philippines in 2011 until 2012. He then moved to Web Providers Dev. Pro as a content writer which later on became Digital Room Inc. (Philippines) wherein he became a digital marketing specialist. In the same year he moved to Web Providers Dev. Pro he also part-timed as an instructor for a local college based in Makati, Philippines wherein he taught graphic design.

Patrick wrote and made downloadable content for You the Designer which is a graphic design lifestyle blog in 2012 until early 2014 with artist Kerby Rosanes. In mid-2014 He shifted his efforts and co-founded photography lifestyle and inspiration blog named You the Photographer with George Nacpil. He is currently the blog's editor.

Patrick often refers to himself as a pixel craftsman since he is mostly working with a computer. Patrick mostly uses Adobe Illustrator, InDesign and Lightroom for his work.

When not working Patrick immerses himself in TV shows, movies, books and games. He is also a fan of underground live music shows, food fairs, art exhibits and roaming around museums.