Monday, December 31, 2012

Fireworks in New Year Celebrations - How to Photograph Fireworks

Across timezones from the Christmas Island (Kiribati), Auckland (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia), Manila (Philippines), Hongkong (China), Dubai (UAE), London (UK), New York (USA) up to Honolulu (USA), the countdown to 2013 begins. Each of the big cities in the world will celebrate the New Year with a Bang! With a Bang, I mean involving fireworks!

As a photographer, it is one of the most awaited photo opportunities anywhere in the world. Each of the big cities will have spectacular display of fireworks that photography enthusiasts would love to capture. Let me give you some pointers on how to photograph fireworks.

Here is my previous post on the Basic Tips and Techniques in Photographing Fireworks.  Enjoy shooting the fireworks in your city. It is fun and easy!

Happy New Year to Everyone!  May 2013 bring us happiness and success!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

How to Shoot Better Travel Photos: Tip # 1 - Use Flash When Photographing People with Scenic Background

Yours truly, Ted Claudio at the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo

People love to travel and take photos to show friends and family about their holidays and travels.  In the age of Facebook, Twitpics, Instagrams and other social media photo sharing platforms, it is so easy and fun to share your travel memoirs.

This is first of the "How to Shoot Better Travel Photos" Tutorial Series. A series of posts that will teach you on how to get great photos worth keeping and sharing.

TIP # 1 - Use Flash When Photographing People with Scenic Background

Use flash when photographing people with a scenic backdrop, whether your built-in flash or external flash.  In photography parlance, it is called fill-in flash when you use flash as an additional light source in addition to the sunlight, the main light source. You must be wondering, why would I require to use flash in broad daylight?  It's bright and sunny and there is enough light for the subject!

Here are the reasons why using flash can improve your travel photos:

1. Reduce the contrast between subject and background

The contrast between the subject (person) and the background (scenery) could be to much. If you expose based on the background, the person will be underexposed. If you bias towards the person, the scenery might be overexpose. The flash will even out the difference.

2. To fill-in the dark areas not hit by the sun like the face if wearing a hat

Face and neck well lit even if the person is wearing a hat
You must have seen a lot of photos of people wearing hats and their face are not properly lit, right? It is because the hat is covering the face from the sun which is the reason why you wear the hat in the first place! Using flash will lit up the covered area of the face including the neck.

3. Add a catch-lights in the eyes

If you use flash, it is reflected in the eyes of the person looking into the camera where the flash is attached. This makes people's eyes look brighter and livelier like you see in the movies or professional portraits.

A word of caution though, if people are wearing sunglasses it gets reflected as well. You can ask the person to remove the glasses or instruct them to look a bit to the side or down. Avoid shooting straight on to avoid reflections from glasses. Shoot at an angle where the flash lighting won't bounce back to the camera.

These 3 are the reasons why it is useful to utilize your flash in travel photography.

You can also increase or decrease the flash exposure if your camera has flash exposure compensation (FEC). If your camera has this function use it. All DSLRs have FEC.

Compensate on the + (plus) side like +1 to make the flash exposure on the people brighter or on the - (minus) side to make it darker. Using FEC adjustments affects only the flash exposure. It will not affect the ambient exposure of the scenery/background since the flash is not strong enough to reach the background. Only the ones hit by the flash will become brighter or darker. Adjust according to your preference but don't make the flash to strong that it overwhelms the daylight as the main source so that your photos will look more natural unless you want to make it as an effect.

For compacts that does not have FEC, you can increase or decrease the flash exposure by going closer or further to the people.

Follow the rest of the "How to Shoot Better Travel Photos" Tutorial Series in this blog.  Enjoy traveling and shoot a lot of great photos using this tip!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from

To all the readers and visitors:

 From Waz Up Philippines!

Enjoy these Christmas Carols from the Holiday Hymns Choral Competition held at Araneta Center.

 Koro Ilustrado

Opening Number

2nd Number

PNU Singers

Gloria Patri Singers

Other Participants

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Hymns, The Araneta Center Christmas Choral Competition

The grand finals of the the Holiday Hymns, the Araneta Center's Choral Competition was held December 23, 2012.  A big crowd watched the event as 11 finalist battle for the grand prize of Php 150,000 pesos.  The crowd was entertained and amazed with the angelic voices of the choirs that participated.

I was hired to be the official photographer of the event. I was excited as well because I love choir competitions especially it's about Holiday Hymns.

Here are the photos and videos of the event:

The Panel of Judges and the crowd

Fireworks Display Intermission at 7 p.m.

Singer Miss Ganda entertaining the crowd during the breather

Winner of the "Crowd's Favorite" award: Himig ni Juan group

Best Costume Award went to Gloria Patri group

3rd Prize Winner: Gloria Patri

3rd Prize Winner: Gloria Patri

2nd Prize Winner: PNU Chorale

Grand Prize Winner: Koro Ilustrado

The Grand Prize: Php 150,000

1st Prize Winner: Koro Ilustrado

Opening Number

2nd Number

2nd Prize Winner: PNU Singers

3rd Place Winner: Gloria Patri Singers

Other Participants

The event host

The Judges and the Araneta Center Team

The panel of Judges

Araneta Team

Himig ni Juan group while waiting for their turn

The Judges

Yours truly, Ted Claudio with Ms. Ganda

I had a good time listening to the Christmas songs. It really gave the crowd (me included) the holiday spirit. Kudos to Araneta Center for bringing this type of entertainment to the crowd while showcasing the talents of the different choirs.  I look forward to next year's competition!

Note: More photos and videos to be posted.

Credits: All photographs were taken by me, Ted Claudio. The Holiday Hymn poster was from Araneta Center's Facebook page.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Disney on Ice - Princesses and Heroes at the Big Dome This Christmas Season

The most spectacular thing to watch this Christmas Season, Disney on Ice - Princesses and Heroes! See your favorite Disney Characters dancing and performing on the ice rink gracefully dancing and gliding on ice.

I attended the Press Conference at the Gateway Suites last December 20, 2012. Mickey paid a visit at the presscon

Enjoyed the press con with fellow bloggers. Everyone was excited to have a photo with Mickey but unfortunately he was in a hurry :(

Here are some of the photos during the press con:

Here is a press release about the event:


Mickey Mouse comes to Manila for Disney on Ice

The Christmas season won’t be complete without a trip to the Big Dome to watch a spectacular Disney on Ice show. For almost two decades now, Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the well-loved Disney characters have provided holiday cheer for all Disney fans, young and old.

The countdown to the most fabulous ice show of the year has now formally started when Mickey Mouse dropped by the Gateway Suites last December 19 to meet with the press. The sponsors and media were tickled pink as they recalled their favorite Disney movies, characters, and songs during the games.

Blake Tatroe, Feld Entertainment’s Senior Marketing Officer for Southeast Asia, shared with the press a sneak peek of what the show will be about. This year, not one, but eight Disney princesses’ wishes will be fulfilled with the help of their devoted princes! Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Rapunzel, Tiana, and their respective handsome princes will tell the audience their romantic, inspiring, and heartwarming stories through artistic skating and graceful acrobatics and prove once more that wishes do come true for those who believe.

The action-packed ice extravaganza will also include the adventures of Aladdin in a wild marketplace chase and Prince Philip’s battle with a fire-breathing dragon! Tatroe also invited the press to catch the limited-run shows. Finally, everyone in the Gateway Suites was charmed when Mickey Mouse himself came out to greet the press and the sponsors, and gamely posed for photos!

Watch the grandest, never before seen in the Philippines, most exciting, and most romantic ice show this holiday season! Catch the shows on the following schedules:  

Dec. 25 (Tue) – 2:00pm and 6:00pm
Dec. 26 (Wed) – 2:00pm and 6:00pm
Dec. 27 (Thu) – 6:00pm
Dec. 28 (Fri) – 2:00pm and 6:00pm
Dec. 29 (Sat) – 2:00pm and 6:00pm
Dec. 30 (Sun) – 1:00pm, 4:30pm, and 8:00pm
Jan. 1 (Tue) – 1:00pm, 4:30pm, and 8:00pm
Jan. 2 (Wed) – 2:00pm and 6:00pm
Jan. 3 (Thu) – 6:00pm

Kids can also meet Mickey Mouse and some of the lovely Disney princesses when they go for their mall tour at the following dates and venues:

Gateway Mall – Dec. 21, Friday, 5pm
Eastwood Mall – Dec. 22, Saturday, 4pm
Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill – Dec. 22, Saturday, 6pm
Lucky Chinatown Mall – Dec. 23, Sunday, 6pm

Prepare to be enchanted by the lovely Disney Princesses and their dashing princes in this “ice-spectacular” show. Troop over to the Smart Araneta Coliseum to catch Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes from December 25, 2012 to January 3, 2013. Tickets are available via TicketNet Online or call (02) 911 5555.

Disney on Ice presents Princesses and Heroes is a holiday presentation from the Araneta Center and Lactum. Major sponsor is VISA. Official transport partners are Philippine Airlines and H&M Transport. Official TV partner is ABS-CBN and FOX INTERNATIONAL. Other media partners are the Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Energy FM, Yes FM, Light Rock, Radio High, Guess Kids and Summit Media.  Official Residence is Holiday Inn.

Looking forward to seeing this show! Don't miss it!

Credits: Photos (except the ones watermarked) and press release provided by Araneta Center.