Reviews


I recently received a shipment of expired slide film from a seller in the States, and among the rolls of old Sensia and Provia I found several rolls of Photo Porst ChromeX100. I’d never yet shot with this film stock before, though I’d read many good things about it from local users. I was eager to try it out.

Loading a roll into an Olympus XA3, I took the film for a spin in and around Manila, Lemery and Taal. Below are some of the results.

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Sky over Taal

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Sidewalk Nap

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Ex-house

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Leggy Wife

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School Zone

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Intramuros Skate Park

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Inside Orale!

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Mother and Child

 Not bad for film that expired in 2003, no?

When you analyze the photos in Photoshop, you’ll see that the age of the film has caused it to lose image data from the low end of the red channel and high end of blue, resulting in the distinct color tint  you see in the photos. There’s almost a Mello Yello-Mountain Dew quality to the shots.

I tried to find out more about the film but didn’t learn much more. It was sold and distributed by Photo Porst, Germany’s largest camera retailer at one point but is sure to be a rebadged film stock from Japan. Some folks say it’s Fuji Sensia under all that Deutsche-ness. I can’t tell. What I can tell is that I have only two rolls left.

Gotta make those count.

For the full set of photos, go to the Travelomo Facebook page.

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KOLA Color Filters

I’ve been seeing these or something similar online for the last year or so, and being a Colorsplash fan, I figured I’d get around to buying them soon enough. Soon enough came today as I was doing some Christmas shopping at Fully Booked. I had meant to pick up another Colorsplash flash for a project I’m working on, but they were out of stock.  What they had instead, a new arrival, were these KOLA color filters.

Inside the cute box is a set of eight plastic filters, each one measuring 4cm by 6cm. Unlike the acetate-thin filters you get for the Colorsplash, these KOLAs are thick and sturdy. You string them up with the provided chain, like a set of paint swatches, and they make a comforting clack-clack sound when they hit against each other. KOLAs are designed and manufactured in Thailand.

There are two ways to use them. First, place one (or more) against your camera’s lens, so that the light that enters your lens is tinted with your selected color.Everything in the shot gets the color treatment. Alternatively, you could place the filter over your camera’s flash, for that Colorsplash effect. Only the areas within range of the flash will get painted with a splash of color; everything beyond remains as-is.

You can use KOLAs with most imaging devices, whether they be digital or film, iPhone or Holga. They may be a bit small for some lenses, but I’ve tried them with a 52mm diameter lens and they work just fine.

By the way, KOLA stands for Kolors Of Life Accessories. They don’t seem to have other products, for now at least. But they seem intent to make their own splash in the Colorsplash pond. Check out their website at www.kolastore.com and their Facebook page.

With just a few test shots, I do believe they’ll do a good job, and are thus going into my camera bag. I’ll probably just pick my favorite colors and keep the rest in my camera closet, to keep creative decisions simple, ya know? The price is not bad either; I got my set for about US$14. If you can stand the Christmas traffic, you can get a set from Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street or online from Kara of Lomo Loco. She delivers.


There are certain books which you just have to have. For some, this could be a dog-eared and doodled-upon copy of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham or a neon-highlighted family Bible or (barf) a hardbound special limited edition of Twilight.

For enthusiasts of 3D or stereo photography – and I count myself among that ilk – there is A Village Lost and Found, written by Brian May and Elena Vidal. Describing itself as “An annotated tour of the 1850s series of stereoscopic photographs ‘Scenes in our Village’ by T.R. Williams,” the book is exactly what it says it is. A collection of stereo images from the dawn of photography is presented here, painstakingly curated and dissected by May and Vidal in a lavish 240 page volume. (more…)

I received a great gift from my wife today: a brand new iPad Camera Connection Kit.  I’ve wanted one for some time now, so I was geeking out when we went to the Apple store this afternoon. Now you may find me with a film camera more often but I do still shoot digital photos and videos. This will be good for when I’m traveling and I need quick storage. Here’s a quick look at what’s inside the box. (more…)

My full review of the Kodak Playsport ZX3 is now online at Techie.com.ph!

I’d like to think I treated the product fairly, describing both its great features and its shortcomings. It really is the first of its class, being the only mobile HD digital video camera (currently) that can survive a dunk in the swimming pool.  Just check out the article to see all the pros as well as the cons.

Bottom line is that this is a really good product for what it is and at this price point, so I am quite happy (and proud) to 0wn one .

To celebrate, here’s a silly video.

Aside from thrift stores and rummage sales, I like digging through the stacks at used books outlets. There’s always something to be found — either you look long and hard, or you hope that a cosmic bird poops good luck on you. Here’s a couple of books I picked up today. Both are gorgeous collections. Steve McCurry, of course, is the photographer who shot the iconic Afghan Girl. Stanley Kubrick, on the other hand, is the director of film classics Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining.

Steve McCurry's The Path to Buddha

Page from The Path to Buddha

Christiane Kubrick's Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

Page from Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

Page from Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures

Camera Creative

I was browsing the photography section at a local bookstore this afternoon when I stumbled upon a freshly stocked book titled Camera Creative. Written by Chris Gatcum, a former editor at What Digital Camera?, the book is a compilation of all the quaint tricks and techniques I’ve been dabbling in for the past few years – false tilt shift photography, light painting, lomography, plastic lenses, digital cross processing and then some.

Over four chapters, Gatcum describes 52 techniques/projects covering creative shooting, lens and accessory tricks, DIY lighting gear and the dark arts of digital post processing. Included are features on toy cameras and Holga hacks as well as el cheapo stereo photography, yay!

In the eight hours that I’ve owned this book I’ve only been able to read a few pages, but from what I’ve seen so far, Camera Creative is a great jump-off point for folks who like going against the grain. This isn’t a book for everyone, but the stuff in here will most definitely add a new unexpected dimension to your photography, if you apply the lessons well.  There’s a lot of cool things to try out.

As for me, I can’t wait to have a go at TTV photography. TTV stands for Through The Viewfinder, where you mate your digital camera to a TLR and shoot the image that appears on the TLR’s viewfinder. Such a cool hack, methinks. Will definitely post results once I build my “contraption” (it seems this is what the TTV community calls the DIY interface) and shoot. Meanwhile, here’s a TTV flickr group to keep you occupied.

If you’ve got a bookstore near you, give it a look. Otherwise, there’s always Amazon.com.