Monday, December 8, 2014

The iPhone 5s, Kyoto, Japan and the Olloclip Lenses

The wife, @reina_reyes, and I went to Kyoto, Japan last October. Of course I brought my DSLR. However, when it came time to actually do street photography, I suddenly had an awkward feeling: every time I raise my camera to my face, the people who I want to photograph, the people who I want to capture in their natural state, will suddenly look at me and either of two things will happen - they smile at me or they turn around and walk away. Either way, I failed to capture the moment because the DSLR was very, very obvious.

And the sad thing was, I didn't bring my Canon G15.

But hope was to be found in the form of the iPhone 5s. I know that this phone has a great camera for a phone but, that time, I would be dependent solely on it.

What made the iPhone great was it's inconspicuous nature: everybody, well, almost, has a smartphone - I wasn't any different from most people - so, I was able to capture people as they were. And that was what I wanted!

And the phone, as to be expected, performed admirably. All I needed to vary my shots were my two olloclip lenses: the telephoto and the fish eye lenses. With these, I was able to get the shots that I wanted.

Panos were great, something that I could not do in-camera, with the G15...

And even in really low light, the iPhone 5s performed admirably! 

Now, I am not saying that you should give up your point-and-shoot for a smartphone, far from it - I actually am interested in getting the new Canon G7x and its 1-inch sensor - but if you have absolutely no choice, then the iPhone is a really, really great alternative.

Photos shot with the iPhone 5s and post-processed "in-camera" using the following apps:


My reviews of the Olloclip 4-in-1 and Telephoto+CPL lenses for the iPhone 5s can be found here and here respectively.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The YurBuds Inspire Vivid Review

Of all the earphones I've used, the first ones to always give out are the ones I used while working out. The earbuds get tangled, pulled and, when my workout got (relatively) intense, really sweaty. So when my last workout earphones gave out, I used the stock earphones that came with my iPod. It was not a pleasant idea: whenever I got sweaty, the earbuds stopped working... My theory was that the sweat I produced shorted out the circuitry of the unit and sound was no longer produced. (After two days, when the sweat has evaporated off, the buds would work again.)

So I went around looking for a new pair of proper workout earphones.

I saw the Yurbuds Inspire Vivid in one of the stores here in Metro Manila and the wife and I checked it out. The tagline on the box says that it was "Developed by Athletes", so I thought the designers know something about getting sweaty...

I like the "FlexSoft" silicone ear tips because its design delivers sound straight to your ear canals. However, the word "like" may vary from person-to-person...

You see, the ear tips are big. Yurbuds provides two sizes of the silicone tips and even the smaller ones takes a great amount of getting used to. When I first put the buds on, my ear canals hurt a bit. However, with constant use, I got used to it and my ear canals don't hurt (as much) anymore. And don't worry about those things falling off -  they will not! The cables will be detached from the ear pieces first before the buds will fall off your ear! I even have a hard time removing them.

Now, for sound quality... The buds deliver a lot of bass, and, for me, that's a good thing because I always listen to hard-thomping music whenever I work out. I have not listened to classical music while wearing the YurBuds but I am happy with it when it comes to hiphop, rock and electronica. 

However, there's still a lot to be desired when it comes to noise isolation. When there is no music playing, I can still clearly hear the music coming from the gym sound system; the sound isn't muted. And because there is no noise-isolation feature, I am forced to increase the volume of my iPhone when I work out, something that I don't like to do (hey, I want to preserve my eardrums you know). I could have used the bigger silicone to seal my eardrums more, but the size of those spare silicone isn't comfortable to wear for me anymore.

But overall, I like the earphones despite those setbacks. It is still something I prefer over the stock buds that came with the iPod. And if it's a choice between losing my eardrums between my music or the gym's music, I prefer it to be my music...

#TheShyPhotographer recommends it. 

Photos shot with an iPhone5s, edited with the iOS app Mextures!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

DOST Theme Building

It has been a while since I last made a blogpost. Been busy doing non-tech, non-photography stuff... But when a friend asked me to cover the recent DOST (Department of Science and Technology) Theme Building opening ceremony (yes, it's Theme Building) I couldn't resist to dust off my camera and shoot some photos.

First there was the parade of the different DOST agencies...

There was, of course, a lot of dancing...

But, the highlight of the opening ceremony was the parade of the different Muses. Philippine Science High School, the school were I taught and which hosted the event, was regaled with beauty and pageantry. And of course, Filipinos love, always, a beauty pageant.

To cover the event, as I almost always do, I brought two cameras. One was the Canon 7D with a 70-200 lens and, this might shock you, the Canon Powershot G15. Since my style of coverage is a guerrilla style of event photography, I needed the long reach of the telephoto lens. But for those times that I needed a wide lens, then I use the Powershot. I don't want to change lens during a shoot of this kind: I don't want to miss any shot as much as possible!

Covering the event was great fun. And, after being away for 8 years, I was treated to a DOST that I didn't know exist before. :)

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