I’m coming home from a day trip to Pampanga, an excursion which involved a lot of eating and taking photos and was organized by Asus. We spent most of the afternoon familiarizing ourselves with the Asus Nexus 7 and the Asus Vivo book, the former being one of the best Android tablets I’ve tried and the latter the first Windows 8 tablet I’ve tried.

I mostly used the Nexus 7, the challenge being to use its camera, a FRONT-FACING 1.2MP number, to take good shots in and around the Prado Farms. How do you do that when either you shoot your photo with your head in the frame, or, you shoot blindly?

The answer? Skills. And a lot of body English.

Here are my shots.

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Up or down, perspective is always relative.

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Some windows are meant to be looked at, rather than looked into.

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Like a magician's trick, the magic of a parol is in the unseen, what lies behind cover.

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Bicycle repair is best when you squeeze in a few yoga stretches in between.

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And some squats.

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Traditions are better if they're made by hand.

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Bespoke is always best.

Not so shabby, methinks! This just proves what superstar photographer Chase Jarvis keeps saying: the best camera is the one that’s with you.

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Finally have an iPhone I can call my own. First app purchase was, of course, Hipstamatic.

Some analog purists might hate me for this, but I’ve always been Machiavellian when it comes to photography. The end justifies the means, the end here being images I can enjoy.

I don’t mind at all that this app simulates what folks like about toy cameras, those low-fi analog mistakes and imperfections like light leaks and vignettes and stuff. My analog cameras will always be there to do exactly that. However, when I feel the need for instant “analog” gratification, then I am glad Hipstamatic is available on tap.

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I’ll share more of my thoughts on Hipstamatic in a future post. Suffice it to say that I (as a career tech editor) have been waiting for this paradigm shift in digital photography for more than a few years.

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My first TTV shot, cropped and adjusted in post.

One of the interesting photography projects in the book Camera Creative (read my review here) is Through The Viewfinder or TTV photography. This is when you mate a DSLR with a TLR camera, focusing and composing with the TLR and using your DSLR to capture the image on the TLR’s viewfinder. Hence, Through The Viewfinder.

Now, one normally needs to build what TTV enthusiasts call “The Contraption,” which serves as the umbilical mount between the two cameras, but I wanted to jump in right away. Here’s my first attempt shot freehand without a DIY mount.

Shooting through the lens of the TLR

Shooting through the lens of the TLR

Several things.

First, market forces have expedited the unfortunate yet wholly expected closure of the magazine I work for. However, despite turbulent times in the publishing world, it always seems to have room for qualified talent.¬† I’ve taken up a new editorial position at another magazine under a different publishing house. While the office isn’t as swanky as the last one I worked at, the pay is better and is located closer to my condo.

That said, second, apologies again for not updating this blog as often as I should. I’m still adjusting to my new role and have lots of things on my plate, things that pay the bills.

Third, speaking of paying the bills, my first paycheck came in the other day and, to reward myself, I bought an intervalometer.

Phottix Intervalometer

Phottix TR90 Intervalometer

In a nutshell, it’s a programmable remote control that lets you do time lapse photography and long exposures. I’ve been meaning to get this for quite some time now, primarily for my light photography, but the time lapse bug has sunk its teeth deep into my neck and won’t let go.

Last, I concede defeat. I had meant this blog to be dedicated to film photography, but I need to be practical. Film photography as a hobby is expensive, time-consuming, and it takes too damn long to get my photos back from the developers. I use my digital camera more than I use my beloved TLR or 110s anyway.

So there. Change is good, in career as in content.


Barrel Meet Tire
 Originally uploaded by vasypher

Alex Vazquez is a freelance photographer who lives in LA. He shoots with a Nikon D300, a Holga, a Mamiya and a Seagull. His black and whites are amazing and this photo of a barrel and a tire somewhere out in the desert is one of my favorite Holga shots ever. He’s also apparently an avowed strobist, creatively wielding his flash to produce distinct results.

Alex says he first creates concepts in his head, then goes out and shoots them. A simple philosophy that works.

Check out his flickr gallery here. It’s a bit sparse, but well worth a look. (The gunslinger shots may have been shot on digital, but they’re really nice work) We hope to see more of his work online.

If you want to book his services, just drop him a message on flickr.