Sunday, December 28, 2008

Malate Holiday Family Photos 2008

Hi All,

I think I've finally found my "photographic style." That style that is unique to every photographer who fancies himself/herself as an artist using the camera as their paintbrush and the image as their canvas. If I were to describe my style, I would say it is "Vibrant, bold colors with an emphasis on contrast." I shoot with this style in mind. However that's only half the formula. The other half is still editing in Photoshop Lightroom and CS2. The reason why I prefaced with my post that I've finally found my style is because I can now achieve my style consistently versus not knowing what I'm doing and getting a good photo. I hope y'all like JPP's new style. Comments and criticism, as always, are welcome!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

To All My Dear Family and Friends,

I want to wish you a wonderful and safe Christmas on this most blessed day of Our Little Lord Jesus.

Warmest wishes,


Monday, December 15, 2008

New Photos from my Lunch Break

Post-Processing Software Tip

As some of my photo friends know, I've been using Noiseware a software application that reduces the noise on photos taken with HIGH ISO. It does such a wonderful job that the photos typically look like a photo that was taken at a lower ISO anywhere from 200-400. Normally I shoot no higher than ISO 800 but now that I've been using Noiseware I can shoot all the way up to ISO 1600. For those of us Nikon users that I don't have the D3/D300/D700/D90 series with Nikon's latest noise reduction feature, Noiseware gives an oppportunity to shoot almost as good as if we were using one of those models. As always this is not a great substitute for fast lenses but for those on a budget with slower lenses, this will do in a pinch. I highly recommend you try it. You can download the community free version of Noiseware here. I'm also including a sample photo using before and after Noiseware.

On the second set, try to guess which is the original and which is the edited with Noiseware version.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Celebrating the Christmas Holidays!

Some photos I took of my sister's family Christmas Tree and ornaments. Enjoy!


Friday, December 5, 2008

***Major Update on Website***

Hi All,

I've been on the fence for some time now about updating my website with the new full size image feature that are featured on some the newer photo websites on the 'net (especially pro photographer sites). After seeing Brooke's awesome site, it was just the nudge I needed to do it. I've been working on it since Wednesday with the minor problem of my internet connection has been down since Wednesday morning. In fact, I was busy editing the full size images for my website at 3am in the morning when my internet connection decided to stop! So I've been editing photos at home and uploading at work on breaks. I haven't quite finished but I have most of it done. I still need to redo my other wedding, debut and portrait galleries from before the update but I anticipate finishing the site this weekend. I hope y'all like the new look. Please do drop by and leave any comments (good or bad!).

You can click this link to go to the website

God Bless,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Totally Inspired!!

One of the great things about working at a company that is the printing lab service for sooo many photographers' is that often you get to talk to with other photographers. Every once in awhile you see good photographs. Well talking to my good photographer friend Stephanie Lewis from Texas, she happened to mention another photographer from her area with some great photos. As I said earlier, you see a lot of photos in my line of work. Well there's good. There's Great. And there's O-My-Gosh!-it's-Freakin' AWESOME photos. If perchance you don't believe, don't take my word for it. Check out Brooke Kasper's website here. Seeing is believing. After checking out her site with Stephanie on the other end of my phone, I emphatically admit her work is some of the best I've seen both at Printroom as well as work I've seen in photography magazines and books I've perused in the last couple years. I'm simply in awe at her technique (lighting, exposure, saturation, composition). Yup the whole nine yards! I'm not afraid to admit that Brooke inspires me to achieve similar level of photography in my own work. I've got several photoshoots coming up in the next couple weeks that I plan on practicing my photography and post-processing to get similar results. There's nothing like seeing another photographer's work that inspires oneself to improve!~!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Updated Mae Model Photos

I finally finished the photos of Vanessa Mae this past weekend.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Engagement Album Design

I just finished the 2nd engagment photo album this weekend. I'm using two different vendors for the publishing the book. One has really good quality but customization in their layout is limited. The other has greater control/customization but does not offer as much options for the paper type and album cover.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear family and friends!

I hope everyone has a safe and good Happy Thanksgiving. =)

Since this starts the Christmas Holiday season, I decided to post the Top 10 Things To Do/Wishlist in my Life:

1. Visit Ireland/Scotland/Wales (not necessarily in that order). Have a pint at a pub in any of these locals!
2. Learn the guitar.
3. Swim with the Dolphins.
4. Visit Yellowstone Park.
5. Sip some latte on a street side cafe in Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the view.
6. Visit Normandy beach & monument.
7. Get my Motorcyle license.
8. Visit the Grand Canyon.
9. Attend PMA or WPPI in 2009.
10. Create a full size photo website like Jay Reilly.

Good Bless,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Actions & Great Song from the 90's

So I'm, um, pretty stoked about this new technique that I mentioned in the previous post. I went back to a wedding that I did from 2006 using my Canon 5D and 10D. Basically I re-did the best ones in Lightroom 2 using the RAW (for non-Canon users' this is the *.CRW format). After applying white balance and exposure adjustments, I exported them as jpegs to a new folder. What I was trying to do (experimenting really) is to get as much consistency in all the shots using a very dramatic style. While I was doing this, I've had this song in my head for the past week. Its the "How do you talk to an angel" from the The Heights. Just as a slight tanget this song is one of favorite songs from the 90's. The video and song itself reminds of all the great songs from 80's. For those interested you can see a rip of the video on YouTube here . Now bringing it back to the original topic, here are some of the images I edited and posted on my regular site.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Awesome Photographer I met on the phone at work....

Quick update, I met this awesome new photographer from Texas. Her name is Cortney of Cortney Russell Photography. As a practical, techy person I'm pretty grounded and rational. But I also have my spiritual side being a Catholic. The reason why I bring this up is that sometimes things happen for a reason (more on this below). Other times its just a random convergence of events.

Well today was a reflection of the former rather than the latter. As a photographer running his own photography business, I've admired a certain style of photos that appear to become popular with photographers' and the masses. An example of this is one of favorite photography site Jay Reilly who has some of the most stunning, vibrant photos I've ever seen. Well I've been trying to figure out how he does it. If you look at his blog on his before and after shots, he obviously does some great post-processing, editing on his photos. I've seen the after results but could never quite figure out how he did it?! Well enter my phone conversation with Cortney at work today. I saw some of her awesome photos. They look really similar to Jay's style. Without getting into the details, Cortney showed me how she was to able to add that special "pop" in her photos. Using her tip, you can turn a "good" photo into a "great" photo! Here's the caveat: You still need to have a photo that is relatively well composed with good exposure/contrast. That's half of the formula. The rest of it is using this tip, and Bingo!, an award winning photo. I experimented with this technique and here is the result. I hope to bring this level of work to all photos in the future. Let me know what y'all think.

Oh here's the final photo with all the touchups & border of Mae a beautiful model I worked with back in August.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Season Blitz!

Hey everyone! Yup its that time of year. The holiday season. The Madness. The Business. The STRESS! But hold on! Its also one of the best times of the year. I'm not talking about shopping or gifts. I'm talking about spending time with family and friends. Every year, I also polish off the dust from Christmas DVD collection. Yes I will be watching "Its a Wonderful Life!" "Christmas Vacation" "A Christmas Carol" "Frosty the Snowman" and "Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer" just to name my favorites. I'm also hoping to add some new equipment to my Nikon system. Namely the Nikon D90 or D300 with maybe a couple nice, fast Nikkor lenses. Please Santa, I hope your listening or reading this blog because I've been extra nice this year! =) I should be able posting an update of my Nikon system for those of you interested in my Photography equipment setup. Lastly I just sent out an email to all my friends and family inviting them to schedule a family holiday photo session. I'd love to see them all, plus I could use the practice with family portaits. heh. Dat's all for now....

"Look Daddy! Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!" -Quote from Its a Wonderful Life!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Trailer: Nikon School: A Hands-On Guide to Creative Lighting

For all my Nikon Pro Photographer Friends,

You have to check out this intro video. It gives a teasing glimpse of the potential for using the CLS as a great portable lighting system without the burden of hauling studio lights, portable power supply on any location photoshoot. I'll see if I can get the full video posted on my blog for everyone to access.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Historic date today!

Hey all,

Yea today is very important day in America. No matter who you like, Democrat or Republican, today's vote will affect the direction of this country for the next 4 years (compared to the disaster of the current administration's past 8 years). So go out there and vote! God Bless America.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sample Photos from Latest Full Sensor DSLRs

Here's a list of sample photos from each of the current Full Sensor DSLRs' in the market. I thought it would be interesting to compare image quality of similar focal lengths and settings. The latest entry is the Sony A900 which really puts Sony into the competitive space with Nikon and Canon. Canon, as many of you may already be aware, came out with one of the first affordable full sensor DSLR's with the launching the 5D (Mark I) in 2004. Canon had heretofore the longest lead with their flagship affordable 5D. Prior to that, if someone wanted to buy a full sensor DSLR, they had to consider purchasing the Canon 1Ds Mark I or II for around $7,000.00 US or above (few people remember Kodak's much lamented launch of the DCS Pro 14n which regrettably had some problems). However Nikon proved it could compete in the same arena with the recently launched Nikon D700 (MSRP $3,000.00 which is approximately same cost as both Canon 5Ds at launch their respective launch dates). In the past several years a growing number of wedding photographers adopted the Canon 5D Mark I as their SLR of choice for wedding photography. With Nikon's launch of the D3 and D700 this year, you may see a pattern of these same wedding photographers switching to Nikon for the sole reason that both models have the ability to shoot at ISO 3200 and ISO 6400 with very clean noise! Check out these samples (courtesy of DPReview) and let me know what you think.
-JP (former Canon D30/D60/10D/5D Mark I but now using Nikon D1x, D2h, D80 and pining for the D700/D90). =)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Its Going to be a Hot one this week

October 23, 2008
Well I thought summer was pretty much over but the weatherman this morning said the temperatures should reach mid 80's today with highs expected in the high 80's tomorrow! Talking to a gal from SoCal today, the temperature at USC was around the 90's. Welcome Global Warming where you just never know what the weather will be like. =)

On a cool note, I just received my 20x30 print that I will have framed at Aaron Brothers tomorrow. This is for the Noble Elementary School Silent Auction on Oct 24th. Jenn, one of my family portrait customer's, is head of the committee running the silent auction. She asked me if I would like to donate a print and photosession for a good cause. It took me all of 2 seconds to reply with a hearty "YES!"

I'm hoping this will lead to some portrait sessions for the holiday. Wish me luck y'all....

Btw here's the sample photo I am using for the 20x30 framed print. Coincidently this is photo of both Jenn's very adorable daughters' from last year's December Family Portrait. Let me know what you think.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shaun & Gena's SF Engagement Shoot (Or How-Not-To-Panick-When-Things-Go-Wrong!)

Ok. So here's the second post on my blog. As you can tell from the title, this was supposed to be a normal, Saturday Engagement Photoshoot. Everything started well. My second shooter (and a great photographer to boot!) Israel and I met up with Shaun and Gena at the Starbucks in Milpitas. Since we were caravan-ing, I decided to take the lead and trust the 'ol Garmin GPS Navigator in my car from Milpitas to San Francisco via Hwy 880. Mistake# 1, never-ever-ever completely trust the navigation! Sometimes you should trust your instincts and eyes-ears. For those of you who know the bay area, the best way to get into SF is Hwy 280 thru Daly City-SF. Mistake #2, I did not know it was Fleet Week that weekend.

The first clue that driving part was not going to be fast was the traffic we encountered around Haward all the way thru Oakland. The second clue was the Blue Angels doing a fly-by near the Bay Bridge. =)

So we finally make it past the bridge into the city. From downtown to Palace of Fine Arts was almost bumper-to-bumper, red lights the entire way. And, of course, since I was playing Chicken with a SF Transit, I totally missed the one and only exit to Palace of Fine Arts which costs us another 15-20 min of driving near Golden Gate Bridge and turning around. So what normally takes 1 1/4 hour trip to SF from the South Bay turned into a 2 1/2 hour drive. You would think that was bad enough. Well since it was fleet week, parking was anything but easy. After walking 10 min from the Presidio to Palace of Fine Arts, we arrive at the entrance to find out that they are doing recontruction on the Palace of Fine Arts. Which means no cool photos from underneath the dome. =( By this time its almost 6pm and we literally have 30-40 min of light before sunset. While Israel and I are taking photos of the lovely couple on the pond near the Palace of Fine Arts, the shorts I am wearing inelegantly has a tear when I get into one of funky photpgraper position to get the "right" angle for a shot. With the excuse of going back to the car to get my 2nd flash, I find out I left the headlights on my Honda Element on - leaving me with a dead battery. With the help of some good samaritans, I try to jumpstart the battery for 30 min. By this time its nearly dark.

So you ask how did I survive all these mishaps? Through the patience and calm personality of Isreal (he's like a rock or that mighty oak that is not disuaded by anything or any situation!), the good samaritans who helped me with jumpstarting my car and the overall good attitude of Shaun & Gena; I never lost my cool. Though I came very close at times!! The moral of this story is never-never give up or get mad. Just stay the course in the midst of adversity and you will get through it.

Just check out the photos that Israel and I took which was the silver lining on a very cloudy day. =)


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Welcome to John Paul Photography's First Blog!

Hey Folks! Yup it was time for me to join the blogger revolution. This is where you will find my personal thoughts and observations about my photography events and even some personal things too. =)

More to come soon, I promise...!