Astrophotography is one of the exciting fields of photography. It takes patience but seeing the night sky pop out of our pictures is reward enough. The milky way is one of the favorite subjects. This dense cloud of stars is actually easy to capture as long as you know where to look. Its visibility varies according to your location and the time of the year.
The realm of digital astrophotography used to be exclusive to large-sensor interchangeable lens cameras. But it seems that with the advancement of mobile imaging, smartphones are quickly narrowing the gap. Recently, Asus Philippines invited a few media influencers from tech, lifestyle, photography and travel to try out their new ZenFone 3 line of smartphones. And I must give them credit for choosing Batanes as the destination. There’s no better place to try astrophotography as the province has little light pollution in addition to the stunning landscape. I was handed a ZenFone 3 Laser to play around with during our photo tour and one of our challenges was to capture a galaxy or the night sky. I thought it was a good way for me to assess how far mobile camera imaging has gone by pitting it with the quality of my own DSLR, the Nikon D7100.
I have been asked a lot on what camera to use or what brand is the best one to buy. Honestly that’s a real tricky question as there are a lot of factors to consider. Being one of the Olympus endorsers in the Philippines I may give a biased answer in a fly so I don’t want to give a specific brand. Here’s an article I wrote for a magazine at least a year ago which I think is still relevant at this time. Since that Magazine never saw the light of its second issue, I might as well publish it here with a few changes to adapt to time. Hope this one helps.
We call it the “Happy Shot” — that one single photograph amongst the many attempts that captured the perfect moment. It may be the perfect smile on a portrait. The best light on a landscape. Or that unexpected candid action on an event. It’s what every photographer yearns for. The sheer pleasure of taking home the shots that you would be proud to hang on your wall, post on the internet and show off to your friends. Your quest for your own “Happy Shot” begins with getting the camera that’s right for you.
I know how it feels to get published. I think for an aspiring photographer, it is one of the initial accomplishments to see their photos on print with their name on it. With photography very accessible to everyone lately, it’s so easy to get into the field. But wait! It is also a hive for some publishers and companies to take advantage of young and aspiring photographers wanting to break into the field. “Give us your photos for free and credit you for that”, they say. That’s just cheap.
Yes it comes only every 2 decades. And we get to see it this time again on the New Years Eve of 2009. No don’t expect the moon to be fully blue in color but it’s just a term for a double full moon in one month which happens rarely hence the term “Once in a blue moon” while technically here in the Philippines it starts at 3:15am January 1st so it wouldn’t be a blue moon on 2009 but on 2010. In fact 2010 would be a rare lunar year with having multiple blue moons here in the Philippines, which is January 1, and 30 and March 1 and 30.
It took a while for my second installment of the Olympus E-P1 Diary as I took my time in actually using the E-P1 in various situations. One interesting challenge for the E-P1 is on shooting portraits using its current kit lenses, the 17mm f2.8 Pancake and the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 Zoom. I shot most of the portraits here under natural lighting conditions as I rarely travel with flash or any reflectors since these are personal travels. It is interesting how the Olympus E-P1 fared in this situation.