I find in my wife a willing and fun model to work with and with whom I can practice my portraiture. She is always ready and willing to pose for me. She is, what I might call, my muse. Ever since I started to dabble in digital photography, she was always there to support me. According to her own words, she had no choice. She would rather have me shooting pictures than having me around her with a cranky mood. I must say that our time together shooting portraits does help in our bonding together as husband and wife. I guess that partners that shoot together stay together. Photography has a way of connecting people; either through an image that may elicit common emotions or reactions, or through the process of creating the image itself. Either way, I have found that it helped me and my wife find something in common to share between ourselves and the little sphere of the world wherein we circulate.
My wife is a member of church singing group called the Oasis Herald Chorale. The concert that was held last December 2009 was one of the last major concerts that the group had. It was intended for fund-raising for the church building project here in the U.A.E. The concert was entitled the Mystery and Majesty of Christmas. It was one of the most successful concerts by the group and a lot of people who attended really enjoyed the experience. All the preparation, the hard work, the expenses, the long practice sessions, and the tension were all worth it. Some of those who attended were already asking about the next concert of the group. Hopefully, the group will be able to participate in a concert organized by our church, which will be a multiple-singing-group concert that will be held late this year.
Annalyn Lorenzo, our female soloist with the exceptional voice
Love Solomon, belting out a solo piece
Betsy Samonte (left), Edzel Zapico and Lei Tabios
L-R: Gerdie, Cheryl (my wife) and Love
L-R: Jinky Baldeviso, Shem Postrero and Rowena Umapas
L-R: Rowena Umapas, Jonathan Corrales and Jeannie Diesto
L-R: Alevem Moralde, Nathaniel Llaguno and Guil Maximo
The church building has already been erected in Ras Al Khaimah, and the first anniversary of the building was celebrated last May 19, 2012. Since that concert, several members have already left the group. Some went home to the Philippines, others moved to another Emirates and some others moved to another country. There were also some who formed their own singing groups. But still, the group continues its ministry through music. New members have moved in and the core members of the group remain intact. The challenges that the group faced had only made the group stronger and more determined to continue its ministry by reaching out to people through music.
The 50mm prime lens translates to an 80mm focal length in a 1.6 crop factor camera. This means that it is a good portrait lens mounted on my camera. So, with that considered, I set out to take portraits of our site personnel indoors and with available light only. I found a spot in our site office with a side window which I believe will make a good portrait ‘studio.’
I noticed that many of my shots were blurry and some were not really sharp. I can attribute this this to my shaky hands. One other factor is that my aperture was too wide open and this results in not so sharp image. So, I closed down a little bit up to f/2.2 to f/2.8, then increased my ISO up to ISO400; all intended to offset my shaky hands and the low light setting of the portrait ‘studio.’
The site people were much willing to pose for portrait. One guy even thought that it was a company requirement, so I told him that it was only for my personal work. That put him at ease a little bit. Another guy wanted a copy of his picture so that he can upload it to his Facebook account. Still another guy wanted a copy of his picture so that he can send it to his wife in his home country. Come to think of it; I am actually helping these guys by taking their pictures. And…if I just dig little deeper into the conversation (considering the limitations due to the language gap) I can actually have a view into the window of these guys lives. That, I believe, is one power of photography.