Tag Archives for " photography "

Italy Instant Film Photography

Italy on Instax

Italy on Instax Film

I've been back from my Italy trip for almost 3 months now. I've been meaning to blog about it, but the whole project overwhelms me. So, I keep procrastinating. Well, it seems like procrastinating.

In reality, I guess, I have been working on my Italy posts. I've put finishing touches in my travel sketchbook. I've been scanning and editing the images. I've even been posting some of them in this Italy Travel Sketchbook gallery bit by bit. I've downloaded photos from my cameras (yes, multiple!) - and started editing some favourite shots one by one. Also started collating the photos and videos to put in a DVD. And, I've labelled and scanned these photos from my Instax camera.

So, no. I guess I haven't been procrastinating. Just breaking down the massive project in tiny steps and working on them when I get the chance or the inspiration.

And, instead of making myself feel guilty about not writing The One Big Italy Trip Blog Post,  I should just stop thinking that I should do that. Because it's not going to happen. All I need to do is to do what I've been doing regarding this project - do a little bit at a time.

Like posting some of my sketches on the online gallery page. Or sharing this scanned page of Instax photos. Taken with my old Fuji Instax camera.

You know, that's one of the things I love about these low-fi photography tools - they're generally quick and simple. No adjusting of light, focus, and other options. No need to add filters or anything like that.

I've been telling myself that I should take that approach towards blogging too: Keep it simple, quick. Even after all these years of blogging, I don't always listen. So I get bogged down with my list of Things To Blog About. I'm working on it.

In any case, I hope you enjoy this rambling post, where all I really wanted to do was to say hello, after a couple of weeks of Being Too Overwhelmed To Blog. Have a great week ahead!

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Canon Powershot SX40 HS: My First Superzoom Camera

Photography is something that I’ve always loved. From a young age, I’ve watched my dad take photos with his analog SLR camera (I think it was a Nikon) - and wished I could do it too. I even signed up for photography club in school and tried to teach myself as best as I can. However, the budget of a young student didn’t really suit photography as a hobby back then. At least, not MY budget. Always kept my love for photography anyway, in some form.

Late in 2007, I finally owned my very first DSLR. I was finally in photography heaven. I took thousands of photos. Became really active on Flickr. Even found myself Explored a few times. I was learning about photography. And, enjoying it a lot.

However, late in April/early May 2008, I started receiving some really weird feedback about some aspects of my photography. Particularly, my practice of self-portaiture. I mean, yes, I had hundreds of fantastic feedback. But, I had a handful of naysayers that got me second guessing my approach. Shortly after that, a personal/family tragedy struck when my dad suddenly passed away.

Since I inevitably think of my dad when I think of photography, my initial excitement about my DSLR photography was set aside at the time. I still took photos, of course, but I wasn’t as excited. I don’t think I’ve ever really rekindled that excitement again.

When my beloved Nikon D40x broke down in May/June 2011, I never managed to get it working properly again. And, my laptop has started acting up too, so my media editing became painful.

Earlier that year in 2011, I got my first smartphone. And, I think that was the beginning of my laziness with photography. The same way I became lazy with videos when I got myself a Flip camera. I started depending on the easy option. Using my smartphone camera to fill all my photography needs at the time. And, the occasional time with the point-and-shoot.

But, I missed it – the whole thing about taking photos with a bit more thought and effort. I still miss it.

Since I wasn’t quite ready to invest in a new DSLR without knowing if I’d rekindle my love for photography or not, I decided to get a simpler camera (but a bit better than a smartphone or regular point-and-shoot). And, that’s my very first superzoom camera: the Canon Powershot SX40 HS


Picture of Canon Powershot SX40 HS camera

Being primarily a Nikon Girl (and the only one in my immediate family of photography enthusiasts too – as 3 of my siblings who all love their DSLR cameras carry around their own expensive Canon gear), it felt a bit odd getting a Canon for my superzoom. But, when I looked at the equivalent Nikon superzoom camera (I can’t remember the exact model now; I think it was the Nikon Coolpix P500), the Canon won me over based on comparisons and reviews. Here’s a sample review from the Photography Blog. It’s also called by CNET as one of the best superzoom cameras around.

Some great features that I liked about the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS  from the start:

  • The zoom. Oh the zoom. There is a reason they call this a superzoom camera. The lens goes from 24mm to 840mm. I don’t think I can ever afford buying a lens in a regular DSLR with a zoom lens that long.
  • Full HD video recording. Do you know what a good video recording camera that has a powerful zoom can do? Well, if you play with this camera, you’ll know. I’ve actually managed to take decent footage of my son playing soccer (football) at the Hindmarsh Stadium when he was invited to participate in Adelaide United’s mascot program during one of their games (with some of the other boys in the soccer club he’s part of). I was nowhere near the pitch, so with a normal camera, my son would’ve looked like a dot. With this camera, it looked like I was near the official photographers’ area. Sure, the footage was a little shaky but not painfully so.
  • The ability to take photos during filming. Not ideal, to be honest, as it does record that clicking sound and it cuts off the audio and video for a split second. But, when you’re trying to record family history with both video and photo, it’s not a terrible way of trying to capture both without having to change from one camera to another.

There are a few other things to love, but I feel I’m not in the position yet to rave about them until I fully test the camera’s functions.

I have some minor gripes, and a couple of major ones. And, the biggest issues I have are: 1) It’s a bit on the slow side when you turn it on (not great for split second photographic opportunities); and 2) the lag between taking shots.

Anyway, apart from my favourite features, one of the reasons that I ended up looking at this camera in the first place is because it was being offered through the Qantas Frequent Flyer shop. And, since I had racked up some points in 2010/2011, I decided to use some of those points toward getting this camera. As I said, I was trying hard not to spend any money on photography until I can get my enthusiasm back.

However, one proof that I haven’t quite made it that far is the fact that I got this camera on 1 March 2012. It’s now the end of November. I haven’t blogged about this until today. And, I haven’t even christened this camera yet. Some of you who know me might remember that I have developed a habit of naming my gadgets (yep, including cars, plants, etc). My DSLR – the Nikon D40x – was Nixie.

And yeah, I admit, I haven’t really played with this superzoom as much as I should just yet. In fact, I only recently discovered that it has a fish eye and toy camera modes. Amongst other things. I’ve pretty much kept it on auto mode over the last 8+ months.

But, I’m hoping to change that. For the first time in years, I actually want to take better pictures again. I want a DSLR replacement (yes, a Nikon!). I want to start creating my portable studio once more. I started one before – where I bought lots of different fabrics to use for my set-up. I’m planning to use them again, and perhaps, even start collecting new ones. I even have some ideas on what I’d like to make.

However, before I invest in a new DSLR, I want to make sure that I’m able to love photography again.

So yes, starting now, I’m going to pay attention to this Canon superzoom camera a bit more than I have done. I will
try to love it more.

Besides, with a new, speedy laptop (that I still need to blog about!) with external hard drives to match my media consumption and creation, I’m finding photo and video editing to be a bit more pleasurable again. Still takes time. But, at least not hair-tearing, when-is-this-ever-going-to-end time anymore.   

So, maybe the time is right to start loving photography again.

Maybe I’ll start by finally giving this camera a name.


Yep, that’s it.

Meet Casz, my first superzoom camera. 

I’ll try to share what I learn and discover with you as Casz and I explore my visual world again.

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Capture the Cover Project: Photographing Your Local Area

It has been almost a decade since I moved to Adelaide. And, other than my hometown in Manila, this is the longest that I have ever lived in a place. So, yes, this does feel like home. And, I have come to enjoy many of its beautiful spots.

That's why when I was invited to share the Capture the Cover contest by the Yellow Pages, I thought that it's a great way to share some of Adelaide's finest, through a series photographic themes. And, encourage fellow South Australians to do the same by participating in this project.

17th Mar 08 -  SOMERTON SUNSET

To participate, all you need to do is to take photos that highlight the best spots in your local area. Then, submit your photos to the competition for a chance to win some prizes - and be featured in the cover of your local Yellow Pages book.

Visit CaptureTheCover.com for details.

Also, follow @yellowpages_au on Twitter and make sure you use the hash tag #capturethecover.

You can also check them out on Facebook and the photos on Yellow Pages' Pinterest boards.

Glenelg Jetty View

So, what's the best thing about your local area, my South Australian friends and readers?

As you can probably tell, one of my favourite parts of where I live here are the beaches.

I hope to be able to share more photos of my local area during this time. I hope you will too!

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Photo Transfer App: Featured App of the Moment

It has been a while since I last featured an app here at Studio Notes. I know part of the reason is that I've developed a habit of doing round-up app recommendation/review posts rather than individual ones, so the task becomes too daunting.

That's why I decided that from now on, I will make my app recommendations more bite-sized and focused on one app per post at a time.

I think this "bulk habit" of mine tend to flow through in other ways --- waiting for the best time to upload and save photos, reserving a block of my day to write/blog, etc. That's why sometimes, things get a bit too overwhelming and I end up procrastinating instead.

That's why I have learned to love tools that help me to break down my tasks and allow me to do little things at any given time.

Like this Photo Transfer App.

What the Photo Transfer app does:

If you're like me and you've pretty much replaced your regular point-and-shoot camera with your smartphone, then most of your day-to-day pics are in your phone camera.

I very rarely sync my phone to my computer, so I don't have easy access to the photos when I want to use them for creating other images, printing, blogging, etc. when I'm on my laptop or desktop computer. And, unless I use the camera connector* with my tablet device (iPad, in this case), the step to get photos from my phone to the iPad becomes a tedious exercise.

Using the Photo Transfer App, which is a universal app that's cross-platform, I can easily transfer my photos and videos from iPhone/iPad to iPad/iPhone and/or to an Apple or Windows computer that are using the same WiFi network. Yes, in full resolution. Very, very quickly.

Transfer may be done one at a time or in bulk.

Some cool perks and features:

  • No need to buy app more than once (unless you want to install on both iOS and Android devices)
  • Available on iOS and Android, and can work on Windows and Mac
  • Unbelievably good value at $2.99
  • Easy to set up on all devices
  • Fast transfers, even when transferring several files
  • Can transfer RAW files


I've been using this app for about a month now and it has been working perfectly. I've transferred photos from different devices and various networks. All works well. No snags. No delays. The only bad thing that I can think of is that I wish this app has been around before I spent my money on buying a camera connector* over a year ago. This one is so much more useful and cost efficient. No need to worry about cables or additional software.

So yes, I love it and highly recommend it.

Get Photo Transfer App on iTunes.

Rating: 5/5

*Camera connector for iPhone/iPad cost nearly $50 when I bought it, and I didn't get much use out of it before it got lost in my travels.

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Random Father’s Day Photos

Weekend Pics - Father's Day

It's Father's Day here in Australia today. And, I helped my kids to celebrate it with their daddy. Nothing big - just some pressies in the morning. Simple weekend activities. Home-cooked meal for dinner.

You can see the pic of one of my hubby's presents - a box of chocolate delight from Charlesworth Nuts, a South Australian company. The five-year-old boy helped to choose that present, of course. He always chooses a chocolate present for Mother's/Father's Day, it seems. Yes, the wicked signs of being in a chocoholic family!

I wanted to do something for my creativity weekend post, but didn't really do anything that creative. At least, nothing worthy of a pic and a post. I'm working on a couple of big creative projects at the moment, but they're not exactly the sort that you can take photos of. So, no go there.

Weekend Pics - My Li'l Artist GirlI did, however, take photos of my li'l girl who seems to be showing signs of being totally and utterly captivated with drawing and painting. Today, that's the first thing she wanted to do. And, she ended up spending a good hour or so making pictures. And, asked to do more later in the evening.

Yes, she seems to have made a full recovery from last week's health scare. What a relief. Nothing in the world is scarier than seeing your own child sick and in hospital. Thankfully, the brief hospital stay did help her to bounce back quickly.

Anyway, I've got a crazy week coming up ahead, what with my hubby going away for a few days to a conference overseas and all. So, I'm not sure how much blogging I'll get to do. But, I'm going to try to keep up.

In any case, here are some more random photos. I took them a week or two ago, during a walk around my neighbourhood. I don't get the chance to take such photos that much anymore. So, it's nice to be able to do so every now and then -

Random Pics from a Walk Around My Neighbourhood

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

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