Sunday, April 29, 2012

My First Attempt

At product photography, that is.

I have been interested with photography ever since I can remember. Such interest must have come from my exposure to a dozen or so pictures of every event in my life as I was growing up. My parents used to work at Kodak Philippines, and that explains the thousand photos at home.

Since everything can be captured in a frame, no wonder the field of photography is vast, and specializing in a certain area (for lack of the correct term) of it can ease honing one's skill. When I acquired my DSLR early last year, I told myself I'd like to focus on learning landscape and product photography. In the future, I also want to have a studio, with kids as my main subject.

But with all the stuff I have been occupied with for the past year, I haven't really gotten myself to focus on learning the craft. I'd take a few photos here and there, but that's about it.

Last night, while suffering from lack of inspiration for an article I was about to write, I busied myself with searching the net on how to build a makeshift lightbox. A lightbox is like a mini studio, often used for shooting small items.

I stumbled upon a site that showed how to build one out of a frosted-side container, desk lamps, and white paper. The setup was so easy that I just had to try it out.

Here's what my DIY lightbox looked like:

DIY lightbox

Since I am such a newbie at photography, I wasn't sure if I had the right camera settings. I just kept experimenting with my camera's aperture and ISO settings, hoping to get a good-enough shot.

After an hour or so, my camera's battery died, and my shots were not even close to decent.

Here are some shots:


Obviously, I am such a newbie. I couldn't eliminate the shadows for the life of me. Well, I didn't have a third light set up, so I guess the shadows will always be there. All shots are raw, except for the last three (whose brightness I had to tweak a bit). Sorry, I don't know much about Photoshop either. (pathetic, huh?)

So for my first attempt at product photography, with a makeshift lightbox and a clueless newbie-photographer head, my verdict on my work is FAIL! That said, I have so much to learn. That, or I may as well just throw my DSLR in a box and sell it on eBay.

Seriously though, I hope I get to find time to really study photography. I noticed writing and photography go hand in hand. A good photo makes for a potential story. A good story can be made better if backed up by descriptive photos.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bag of Beans Blueberry Pancakes = Love!

It's 9AM. I woke up so early today. 6 AM to be exact. I know, for some, that's not early. Everyone else must have already ticked off a dozen in their to-do list, while I was still battling with my other self if I should already get up from bed or not. haha!

Since I'm up early, I'm hungry early, too. [weird sentence there, but I know you get my point :)] Anyway, I've been craving pancakes since last night. The photos at's list of top 10 pancakes in town didn't help. I was practically salivating at the layers upon layers of pancakes that were featured.

Upon reaching the end of the list, I was sad to find that my favorite pancake of all time didn't make it: Blueberry pancakes from Bag of Beans Tagaytay. The first time I tried it, it was love at first bite!

Imagine sinking your teeth into three humongous layers of blueberry-filled pancakes, smothered with blueberry jam and topped with whole berries and butter. Two slices of citrus adorn your plate of blueberry goodness. Pour syrup, and you're on your way to heaven! For just PHP195, the pancakes can serve up to four hungry tummies. Reasonable, right?

And here it is. Tada! 
Blueberry pancakes!

Haay. What would I give to have these right now?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pass or Fail

"Pagsubok lang 'to. (This is just a test.)"

This is one line most of us say when life throws lemons at us. If a family member suddenly falls ill, we see it as a test of our faith. If a prayer has not been answered for the longest time, we see it as a test of patience. If a difficult person is constantly present in our everyday lives, we see it as a test of endurance, endurance to keep our hands by our side rather than strangling him. :)

But think about it, why does God have to test us when He knows fully well what we are capable of? Isn't He our Creator? Then, why does He need any validation of how strong we are or how patient we can be?

I'd like to think that every difficult situation we face in life is not a test we desperately need to pass. There is no A's or F's, no pass or fail. Why? Because getting a grade of 75 or even a 100 doesn't, at the least bit, account for our worth. Our worth has already been stamped on us the moment we were brought into this life. In our veins run the blood of a genius, a champion, a child of God.

If life isn't a test and there is no need to prove our worth to a God who loves us unconditionally, then why do we think that way? Rather than saying, "Pagsubok lang to," I'd choose to say, "Paghubog lang 'to. (I am being molded.)"

In every painful moment, we are being molded by God into a better version of our already-capable selves. Life's lemons are not a pass-or-fail, do-or-die, "am-I-going-to-get-out-of-this-alive" kind of thing. Choose to look at each heartbreak as an opportunity for growth, and you'll see that all fear and desperation are gone. Soon, you'll begin to notice some sense of positivity and expectant faith in you.

So, if life is bringing you down, remember that you are not being tested; rather you are being molded into the best person you can ever be.

Photo source:


I can't write.

Four hours has passed, and I'm still staring at a blank Word document and a blinking cursor. Whatever brain cells I have have been afloat for the past few days, and I don't even know to get them oiled up and working.

My SFA article for Kerygma is due today. My GEF article for the same publication, I promised to submit over the weekend. I couldn't push myself to write a decent 400-word article; how could I ever come up with two?

Lord, you are the source of everything. This is minute to You. Please help me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What are you ASKing for this Lent?

So for the nth time you’re heading for the beach for your Lenten vacation—to get away from it all. After all, it’s the only time of the year when you get to enjoy almost five straight workless days with summer in full throttle.

It’s time to relax and recharge, you think to yourself. But give it a day or so after, and you’re back to your old self again. Why is that? Perhaps, successive days under the sun aren’t really what you need...

Click HERE for more information.