Adventures of The Man behind

Posts tagged “Strobist

Shooting Cars with Dramatic Skies

I personally would like to thank Rota Wheels for their continuous support for my website – Custom Pinoy Rides. And I can’t think of any better way to thank them than to show how their wheels can turn simple cars into artforms.

I was recently given a set of brand-new, freshly designed, tested, and manufactured 15×7 Rota Grid Type-X offroad wheels. And what better ride to install them on than a 4×4 offroader!

The photo below was featured here: ROTA Wheels: Turning Simple Cars into Forms of Art (Grid Type-X on a Daihatsu Feroza)

Shooting Cars with Dramatic Skies I AM THE aSTIG pic1
Camera hand-held. 2 flashes used: A YN467 on camera right about 6 feet from the ground illuminating the front of the vehicle, and a TT520 on camera left placed on the grass illuminating the side of the vehicle.

Below is a preview of how the Feroza looked before the wheels were installed, also shot with a dramatic sky but this time utilizing ambient light.

Before: Looking plain jane in steel wheels.
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Photo used for a product review of Tufoil Engine Oil Treatment. Worms-eye view with camera placed on the street. Ambient light only with long shutter speed.

This Suzuki Celerio was shot at the same location where I shot the Feroza on the first photo, but right before the sun disappeared in he horizon. It casted a unique hue in the sky, which lasted only for only about a minute or two.

Shooting Cars with Dramatic Skies I AM THE aSTIG pic3
Camera hand-held. 2 flashes used: A YN467 on camera right about 6 feet from the ground illuminating the front of the vehicle, and a TT520 on camera left placed on the grass illuminating the side of the vehicle.

Photo featured here: Kevin Pamintuan’s Smashing Suzuki Celerio

Ever since I was a kid, I have always fond of clouds. I used to love staring at the coulds looking for certain patterns or figures that may be similar to other things. Cartoon characters, animals, faces, or whatever it may be, I never seem to have lost that watchful eye for good cloud formations. I guess this translated to photography. Whenever I see dramatic clouds, I make sure I capture spectacular moments with it, utilizing the clouds as creative backgrounds for my photos.

Below are a couple of other examples, taken around noon time at Batangas Racing Circuit during a shoot for Ford Club Philippines at last month’s Tuason Racing Race Day. All photos taken under ambient light, without flash.

Shooting Cars with Dramatic Skies I AM THE aSTIG pic4
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Preparations for the 2011 Manila Auto Salon

I’m pretty sure that all of the major tuning shops in the Metro Manila district and nearby areas have been working their asses off the past few weeks or months to get the show cars ready in time for the 2011 Manila Auto Salon, which starts from today, the 24th of November, until the 27th.

The same goes with the Atoy Customs crew. The only difference is that they’ll be coming out with some of the sickest, neatest, and most awesome custom vehicles you will ever set your eyes upon this year. I’m not saying this just because I’m sponsored by Atoy Customs, but because with, I’m very much exposed to lots and lots of modified vehicles. And I can say that the vehicles I’ve seen being created inside the Atoy Customs garage are some of the best I’ve ever seen. They’re definitely what Custom Pinoy Rides is all about.

Being sponsored by Atoy Customs, I’m privy to seeing what’s going on behind closed doors. And I get to share with you guys some of the things that I set my eyes upon. Here are some photos that I took, which I’m sure would get your excitement going for tomorrow’s Manila Auto Salon.

Atoy Customs Genesis Amuse Body Kit
Shot on-location inside the Atoy Customs shop. 2 flashes used: YN467 camera left, and TT520 camera right. Both set to about 1/2 power.

See the full article here: Atoy Customs Hyundai Genesis Amuse Vestito Body Kit – Almost Complete!

And some more cars in the preparation stages for the 2011 Manila Auto Salon:
- Atoy Customs Ken Block-Inspired Ford Fiesta Wide Body Kit – Almost Complete!
- The next Rockstar Drift Car: Atoy Customs Nissan A31 Cefiro to R35 GT-R Conversion – Almost Complete!

11-11-11 at La Luz Beach Resort, Laiya, Batangas, Philippines

11-11-11 is a date that only happens once every 100 years. Since most of us don’t live that long, it has been made a special day by many. They say that babies who were born on this date received special media attention, and that there was an increased number of marriages which took place in many parts of the world. Heck, even TV and Billboard ads for a local fastfood chain had something going on about 11-11-11. So I’m sure a lot of you have some epic stories to tell about how you spent November 11, 2011.

Mine was spent on a relaxing vacation and photoshoot session at La Luz Beach Resort in Laiya, Batangas.


The challenge was that my subjects were a completely mixed bunch in terms of age, gender, build, height, and ethnicity, all of whom I have to shoot within a span of a few minutes worth of good sunset lighting. Armed with only a bare speedlight mounted on my tripod, I set to work. I know some photographers who would utilize an umbrella for shoots like this, but I packed light as I didn’t have an assistant with me for this shoot. But I’m pretty very happy with the results. What matters is that I brought smiles to the faces of my customers soon as they saw my work.

Check out the photos:

Family portrait.

The beautiful child. For child photography, perspective makes a big difference. Most point-and-shooters just snap away from standing position. I suggest you try getting down on one knee to shoot at your child’s eye-level. You’ll be amazed at how big of an impact it makes.

Father and child.

The daddy. To those reading this, please understand the anonymity as in this particular instance, I’m mandated by a policy to not mention names or organizations.

Now this is what I was talking about. I did have other subjects for this shoot. Had to readjust lighting and settings to compensate. I’m happy with how it turned out. Besides, challenges like this just make me a better photographer.

Careful framing or cropping, plus using the longer end of a zoom lens, helps to shed a few pounds on the photo.

On location shoots like this, I don’t use a light meter. Why? Because ambient light changes fast, as unfortunately, in this part of the world, there isn’t really a “golden hour”, as it only really lasts for a few minutes.

If shooting group shots with only one off-camera flash, positioning is vital as you don’t want one person casting a shadow on another person.

I just had to include this shot. If there’s one thing Batangas is famous for apart from beaches and balisong knives, it’s bulalo!

Last photo that I’ll share with you guys from this session. The sun flare was captured on purpose. Did you know that there’s actually a science behind shooting sun flares?

Natasha Chystsiakova Photoshoot at Winston Baltasar’s Advanced Strobist Workshop

I’m very grateful to Photographer and Instructor Winston Baltasar for sharing his knowledge to me about the business side of car photography. He invited me over to his studio at a time when I was stuck on a rut as to how I could derive income out of my specialty – car photography. See, there aren’t many professional car photographers in the Philippines. And by “professional”, I mean those being PAID to shoot the intricate niche of car photography. There are many hobbyists, but not many pros.

Being a former Managing Editor for Top Gear Magazine, Winston is more than qualified to share his thoughts about the subject matter. So I dropped by one Sunday, and since he was holding an Advanced Strobist Workshop, I decided to join. Even though I can consider myself to be an advanced strobist, I always keep an open mind an never close my doors to new learning opportunities, even for other types of photography such as portraiture.

Lucky for me because Winston’s model for that particular session was the lovely Russian model Natasha Chystsiakova. So here are some of my photos from the workshop. All of these were shot outdoor with a 2-light setup: A shoot-through umbrella camera right above head-level as my main light, and a bare flash with a velcroed DIY large bounce card camera left at around my shoulder-level as my fill light. You’ll see the two catch-lights on here eyes from the two light sources.

Natasha Chystsiakova THE aSTIG Photography Manila Philippines pic1
Being a Business Consultant, I’m more of a continuous improvement kinda guy. So if I had the chance to do this photosession again, I’d use a large softbox as my fill light to balance out the shadows in order to avoid the harsh shadow on her chin caused by the bag. I’ll also add maybe a reflector to light up the black bag a little more, and perhaps add a hair light.

But either way, I’m quite happy with how the photos turned out. Check out the rest of the photos below and tell me what you think on the comments section. Thanks!

Product Review: CD-R King Flash / Strobe (TT520)

Purchased the CDR King TT520 a few weeks back and put it to the test, using it in tandem with my YN467.

Photos featured on this article: Atoy Llave’s Daily Driver: R34 Nissan Skyline by Atoy Customs

Front Quarter View

Camera Left: YN467 Flash via Radio Trigger
Camera Right: CDR King TT520 Flash triggered using S1 mode (optical slave)
Atoy Llave R34 Skyline Daily Driver Atoy Customs Custom Pinoy Rides pic1

Rear Quarter View

Camera Left: CDR King TT520 Flash triggered using S1 mode (optical slave)
Camera Right: YN467 Flash via Radio Trigger
Atoy Llave R34 Skyline Daily Driver Atoy Customs Custom Pinoy Rides pic2

My observations: