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When Japan’s 8.9 Quake Happened…

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… I was at Lenovo Office in Yokohama, Japan.

I was on the 21st floor floor when it happened. And when you’re that high on a building and it’s already impossible to stand without holding on to something, and you can see/hear the doors banging, and the stuff on your desk are moving, and your attempts to recompose yourself and stay calm just utterly fail and fade into nothingness, you can’t help but think of, well, many things (including the possibly unfortunate fate of my gears left at home)…

For the nth time, we are still experiencing aftershocks but thankfully, in varying but lesser magnitude…

(Saturday, March 12, 2011 05:36:48PM JST)

… still experiencing tremors every now and then. And possibly more in the coming days. Scheduled blackouts (and no water) here in Fujisawa will start tomorrow.

(Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:45:48PM JST)

An Afternoon Of Bokeh And Shadows


Went for a little stroll at a nearby park here in Shonandai to give my little DIY flash filter holder a test. Just a couple of plastics and some electrical tapes really. Nothing magical. Here are some photos from the formidable 50mm 1.4D. I really love this lens.

Red and blue gels from right of camera. The accents were kinda weird though but I like them anyway. =)

Sunlight accented with a half CTO…

Red gel from left…

God bless everyone…

Repeating Flash (SU800/SB600)


There is much information that say SB600’s are not capable of repeating flash (RPT). Well, in a way, yes and no. Yes in the sense that unlike the SB800’s and SB900’s, there is no option to change the mode to RPT in the speedlight itself. And no in the sense that when coupled with a master unit (SB700, SB800, SB900, SU800) that is capable of RPT, the SB600 is just fine when in remote mode. I have not tried pop-up commanders though.

In the SB600 manual, the only mention of repeating flash is in page 61. It says, “If wireless repeating flash has been set on the master flash unit, remote flash units such as the SB600 will also perform repeating flash operation”. Brilliant. So I decided to give this handy little feature a go.

Setting the SU800 commander:

  • Set the SU800 to commander mode. (The switch is inside the battery compartment)
  • Press and hold SEL button for approximately 2 seconds to toggle between the Repeating and Commander flash operations. Confirm that the RPT is selected and displayed.
  • Set channel and group. My current settings here was channel 1 group A. The 3 dashes (see group C) mean that group is not firing, otherwise it is firing (see group A and B). Never mind group B since I don’t have flashes under group B.

Setting the flash output level, frequency and number of repeating flashes per frame:

  • Manual flash output level can be set in 1 step increment/decrement from 1/8 to 1/128. (No iTTL)
  • Frequency is the number of times the flash fires in a second. I’m using this computation as my rough approximation: [shutter speed x frequency = number of repeating flashes]. i.e. My shutter speed here is 1 second so 1 sec x 10 Hz = 10 fires.

Some sample shots from this test. Subject used was just a simple lamp. Nothing fancy really…

With a red gel…

Multiple exposure feature on the D3. I also like this in-camera feature as well. I cannot do this with my Canon. Of course, Photoshop can handle this stuff in a more sophisticated way. Nevertheless, being able to do this in camera is definitely brilliant if you ask me.

Settings (all images): 1sec @ f14 @ ISO200

Looking forward to use this feature in a more sophisticated way in the future. God bless everyone…

CP+ 2011

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The CP+ 2011 photo and imaging show in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan has already concluded yesterday. Well, I knew in my heart of hearts the cost of going there…drooling, craving, hankering, yearning…you know, all the symptoms of the dreaded Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Nonetheless, I went later in the afternoon despite the freezing temperature and light rain showers. Thankfully, admission was free for the last two days. Overall, I had a good time albeit short. It was worth the, uh.., sacrifice after all. Anyway, more information about CP+ 2011 can be viewed on this link.

The provided pass. Neat, isn’t it?

The usual names in the imaging industry, among others. (Simple collage done using online tool, hence the watermark.)

I found these gorgeous little cuties in the Pentax corner on my way out. Flashy, aren’t they? Too bad they don’t offer free name engraving on the lenses. It would have been sweeter if you ask me.

God bless everyone…

Window Light

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We often associate white with purity, cleanliness, and peace (though in other countries, white represents mourning and death). White is also a prevalent background color in photography. It’s one of those background colors that can cause the subject to “pop” a bit more. Additionally, many colors are wonderfully emphasized when placed against a white background.

There are loads of ways to achieve a white background. White seamless papers are very common in studios. You can even put virtually anything on a white background using Photoshop. Bedsheets, white boards, window lights, unused calendars, white walls, … the list can go on.

In the stitched image above, the subject was placed against a window (window light) to obtain a white background. Also, a red-gelled SB600 was placed on the right of camera for the red highlights.

(It rarely snows here in Yokohama during winter seasons. That is why it is just beautiful to see the falling snowflakes outside right now, however fleeting and cold…)



Got an SB-600 this morning. Despite it undergoing a lot of nuking stress since its arrival, the little one is just as impressive as I have expected it to be. Easy to use, light and compact, quite good recycles… really appeals to my liking, this one.

I’m not in any form or way, paid to be endorsing Kitkats in this post, whatsoever. It just so happened that we’ve got loads of these lot crammed in the kitchen corner. And mind you, “corners” are really indispensable treasure geysers when one is in an urgent wish for a swift, home-made, always available, virtually cashless lighting setup but not having the right goods at hand (yet).

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f8 @ ISO 800; FEC +2.7, zoomed to 24mm

The setup: a couple of shoe boxes, to be disposed 2010 calendar (back) for background, VHS tapes as diffuser stand (+snoot), and a bond paper as diffuser.

The diffuser setup proved to be effective after all… and fun. =)

Here’s another one from the kitchen corners; trash bin specifically. But I wouldn’t be calling this garbage photography.

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ ISO 200; FEC -1.0, zoomed to 85mm

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ ISO 200; FEC -1.0, zoomed to 85mm

The setup: suit cover as background (the white markings was covered with a black laptop case), VHS tapes as reflectors this time, and a disposable plate for top fill reflector (handheld).

So there you go. One SB-600. And a little bit of improvisation. Works great. God bless everyone.

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