Archive for June, 2009

Pictage Pug

Posted in Photography Events, Uncategorized on June 19, 2009 by Josan

June 10, 2009
Elixir @ The Opus Hotel, Yaletown
350 Davie Street

Pictage is a tool/resource access for professional photographers worldwide. For more detailed information about the services they offer to photographers, check out:
Pictage is a recognized resource access for professional photographers in the U.S, alongside its other competitions. The concept is still a budding idea in Canada, and they had just introduced the company a couple of months ago. The company decided to bring in Tomas Galass to promote Pictage, either that or he volunteered to promote Pictage in Vancouver.

The meeting at Elixir was very laid back. There was like 10-15 people who came, a lot for a 1st pug meeting, according to Tomas. I was one of the three new ones who came to the pug meeting who wanted to check out further what Pictage was all about & to know more of what the service has to offer. I really like the laid back atmosphere of the meeting. It was like having beer/coffee with a bunch of friends with common interests. Most of them were wedding photographers, a couple are portrait photographers. Photo lingo was babbled all through out the night. The evening was meant soley for Pictage discussion, but we ended up just talking about Pictage for 15 minutes Updates was shared where Tomas told us that there’s a Pictage Conference in New Orleans on November 3-5. All through out the night the conversation was mostly on the networking possibilities & the viral nature of networking sites like facebook & twitter. We leaped from one photo topic to another. I learned about the other competitions of Pictage like SmugMug, the advantages & disadvantages of both services and interfaces. I was informed that SmugMug doesn’t have a good interface. You have to know CSS in order to go about it.

Backing up your drive was very informational for me and I appreciated learning about it from our discussions. I learned that DROBO (which made me think of this Filipino food, adobo whenever it was mentioned in the conversation 😛 It tickled my senses. Hehe!) is not recommendable, because it’s too pricey. They recommended that it’s always good to have 3 back-ups of the files: On-site, Off-site and one on a Digital railroad/cloud (I’m still unfamiliar with the concept). ‘m intrigued by these back up folders they talked about called “Carbon Copy Cloner” and “Super Dooper” there are other kinds of folders, but these are the most popular ones. They were talking about wedding forums and one of them mentioned that he paid a subscription to one called WFP, and Tomas shared that he prefers being on the look out on free sites. Why spend money when there’s lots of free information on the web? Why spend money on a forum that you wouldn’t have much time reading over, because of the busy schedule wedding photographers’ usually have.

It was really nice being around established photographers that night. I appreciated the fact that Tomas did not come out evangelical on us about Pictage. We were actually comparing its advantages & disadvantages alongside other similar service by different companies. He was very respectful about the different opinions presented by the dynamic group of photographers, and he opened up good questions that did not make me feel uncomfortable. Especially because, as how it usually is in these kind of meetings, I seem to be the youngest (youngest looking :P) in the group. Tomas even told me that if I ever decide not to pursue being part of the Pictage family, I should still go to the monthly Pictage pug meetings, so that I have some sort of mini-community I could go too, where we could just hang out & talk about technical photography stuff. That was so nice of him, and I can imagine myself coming back to hang out with the troop every month if my availability allows it on the scheduled meetings.


Phase One Camera, better than the non-consumer Nikon & Canon cameras?

Posted in Photography Events, Uncategorized on June 18, 2009 by Josan

June 16, 2009
Ray Lum’s Photo Studio @ Pine Street

Walter Borchenko of Toronto, the top representative in North America of the new Phase One camera did a presentation on the camera, alongside the Capture One Pro 4 software. Walter was this big hulk of a guy with that confidence that exudes an air of skepticism within my gutts, he looks like a healthier version of the artist Salvador Dali. I really like certain physical aspects of the camera. It’s easier to handle, it’s lighter than a D-SLR camera, full frame viewer, F2.8, has beautiful sharp Hasselblad lenses.. made with top of the mark camera parts. You can put different digital & film backs, even a large format backing! It was impressive. Walter repetitively had an objective opinion that it was all about the equipment, the camera a photogrpaher has. He portrayed that if we didn’t have the Phase1 camera, we are not good photographers… Did not like those words at all, and I’m sure that if Dali was still alive he would object with me.

Professional photographers were asking technical inquiries. Especially concerns that a photo shoot may unexpectedly have to deal with, and Walter never answered the questions thrown his way. He shut down the photographers with “Who gives a crap. All I know is it works” defense mechanism answers. He was a representative who should know a lot about the camera, but ironically he did not really know how it worked. We ask, and he would be “I don’t know. I don’t care to know what it’s all about. It’s magic”. It sucked that he didn’t know the nuts & bolts of the camera, coz instead of being impress, I found myself having more questions about the camera’s abilities. He spoke full of contradictions. He showed us videos where the camera was microwaved, stored in below zero environment & stepped on by an elephant. What I want to know is if it will still stay intact if it gets accidentally smashed on cement floor, or if it will still function after it falls in a puddle or water, which is a circumstance photographers may have to deal with.

Capture One Pro 4 has really interesting features that makes post-production editing of photos easier, but unlike programs like Adobe Lightroom & Aperture, it is very limiting. I found it pricier too compared to Adobe Lightroom with what it has to offer. I dont know about the Capture One Pro 4, but I can consider myself purchasing Phase One camera. I just did not appreciate how it was presented to us. I do not agree with Walter that having a good camera makes a good photographer. I still believe in the old standards of what defines a good photographer: Composition, Lighting and Creativity. I still use plastic cameras and other crappy cameras, because I like the beautiful effect of imperfection, and also I cannot afford to purchase my own non-consumer D-SLR, just yet. But that doesn’t stop me from creating good photographs. As a matter of fact, there is a revolution done by passionate photographers who were resourceful enough to come up withlighting solutions, given a limited budget. Yes, their solution may look tacky, but they are able to be in control of the given condition to make good photographs. Check the cool Strobist dude who made a revolution out of using lighting alternatives to create beautiful photographs: