Category: BlogPost

Umbrellas Lighting Guerillas

Photography is all about lighting and being creative with it. There are a lot of techniques, conception and theories but then again it always depends on how you want the end result would be. With the correct gear (it does not need to be expensive) you can create a stunning picture! I still love natural light of course but sometimes photographers need extra gear when working indoor. I found a super simple on how you can be creative with lights using umbrellas. A certain position on how you place the umbrellas can make a huge difference on the object. Then again it also can create an underexposure on certain angle in your end result. Just be fun with your lighting and keep trying until you get your own style in playing with the lights!

 According to Miguel Quiles, there are at least five different types of positioning your umbrellas to shoot portrait/ models:

1. Front Centered Above:

Light centered in front of the model and raised to where the bottom of the modifier is 4 feet or higher.

2. Sandwich Lighting:

Light raised above subjects head by 2 feet or more and a reflector is placed below.

3. Hair/Edge/Separation Light:

Place the light 30 to 150 degrees behind the subjects head.

4. 45-er:

Light placed 2 to 3 feet away at 45 degrees to the left or right of the subject and the bottom of the umbrella is eye level with the subject.

5. Background:

You can use your umbrella as a backdrop for a unique look, placing a large umbrella behind the subject and two 4×8 white v-flats (or a white wall) about 3 feet in front.


Find more of Quiles’ work on his websiteYouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram


A Different Kind of Challenge for 2019!

"New year, new me" totally overrated. However, as photographers -including yours truly- we need to reminded of our work and sharpen our skills. I stumbled upon a challenge as I read an article on the internet. Rest assured, unlike #BirdBoxChallenge or #KikiChallenge this is a positive (and fun) kind of challenge! A whole year of photography challenge to train your senses and creative mind originally created by Dogwood Photography. I never heard of this before but it seems that this is their fourth year to repeat this fun activity.

Unlike most photography challenges which are just a simple list of ideas, this 52 week challenge is designed to push your photography to the next level. This list is going to be more challenging to complete than a simple 52 week photography challenge list. But stick with it to the end and I guarantee you will be a better photographer for it. There is no specific start date for this challenge. Each photographer is on their own journey, and only competing with themselves from week to week. If you wish to form a challenge group and compete with each other based on this list you are welcome to do so! If you form a challenge group drop me an invite I would love to watch the progress.

Each week, the weekly assignment will be in one of 3 categories:

  • Portrait: Portrait photography is really about capturing the essence of a person in an image. A portrait image can range from a classic portrait to candid, or from street photography to a selfie. Each time this category comes up we will dive into a different area of portrait photography. The main focus should always be a person/persons (or maybe a pet).
  • Landscape: In the context of the #dogwood52 photography challenge, this category is pretty broad covering both traditional landscapes, and some non-traditional areas such as urbanscapes. Don’t be afraid to really explore your surroundings in this category. If the focus is the environment you are in, it will qualify as Landscape in this category.
  • Artistic Impression: When this category comes up, you really have room to express yourself. You can interpret the assignment literally or figuratively. Unlike the other two categories that are more focused, the main focus of this category is to let your creativity shine.

Moreover, here's how you can show off your progress and make friends along the way: #dogwood52 and #dogwoodweek[NUMBER] (ex: #dogwoodweek1, #dogwoodweek2).

There are no rules but being as creative as you can. Just make sure you don't forget to set yourself an example of being discipline by creating a reminder on your smartphone, print the challenge and stick them on your fridge or even write them on your planning. I tried to do more action and less preaching by completing the first week challenge myself. Luckily weekends are perfect for me to always create something new off the list. If you have something to say, please do leave me a comment!

Happy photo challenge!



Let’s Be Part of HERstory!

"With the education, we will no longer be underestimated. To those who always think that the trans-women only belong by the side of the road and at the red light will be able to see, no matter difficult the pressure that is given to us, we will definitely be able to pass it. The high education that I have achieved now is not only for me, but for the entire trans-women community, for all Indonesian people. So that we are all aware that education is our absolute right as the citizen. "

That was Mami Yuli's motivation when she explained how education she has achieved until this point was not achieved easily. The struggle by the struggle continues to be faced and its success was pursued in various way to inspire the transgender community and the Indonesian people in achieving their vision.

Yulianus Rettoblaut as known as Mami Yuli, 57 years old, is a trans-woman (transgender woman) who has a Bachelor's Degree of Law from Attahiriyah Islamic University. She then continued her Master's Degree at the Faculty of Law, Tama Jagakarsa University, South Jakarta, with the best citation (A+) and 3.85 GPA for 2.5 years. At that point, she was dubbed as the first transgender in Indonesia who was able to obtain a Master's Degree in Criminal Law.

Not only that, Mami Yuli continued to pursue her dream and vision, and is recorded as a Doctorate Program Student at the Faculty of Law, Jayabaya University, majoring in Constitutional Law. Mami Yuli wants to be a living proof for her community that trans-women also has the ability and can perform well like her.

"Trans-women, aside from being a marginalized society, are also the citizen who are consciously and openly often impoverished by the prevailing system in this country," according to Mami Yuli. Since 1979 until 17 years have passed, Mami Yuli has lived and worked in the streets, faced various forms of stigma, violence and discrimination from various parties including the society and the state. At that time, Mami Yuli was moved and she thought that the transgender community should not live on the streets forever. An empowerment program that is specifically aimed at the community is needed. For decades, Mami Yuli has struggled as an activist in empowering the community to get legal protection and their rights as the citizen, until this moment. "This law in Indonesia never sided with us as the transgender," Mami Yuli continued.

Mami Yuli is recorded as the initiator of the establishment of the Rumah Singgah Waria (Transgender Shelter) which is recognized internationally as the world's first Transgender Nursing Home, later became an inspiration for transgender organizations in other countries to pay more attention to elderly transgender people.

In the recent years, the usual assistance for the Rumah Singgah has decrease, even the Ministry of Social Affairs which previously provided support is no longer providing aid as a result of the increasing hostility towards the LGBTI community lately. Mami Yuli was forced to think extra hard for two things she loved, her education and the Rumah Singgah.

Currently, Mami Yuli can barely accomplish her Doctorate Education due to financial challenge. In fact, just a step further, the Doctorate degree can be a pride for the trans-women community in Indonesia. But the situation said otherwise, the Doctorate public exam which became one of the conditions for obtaining the degree, turned out to require a huge cost. Mami Yuli must prepare at least US $6,750 or Rp. 100,000,000 (a hundred million rupiah) to be able to carry out the exam.

This is the real condition of the education system in Indonesia, with all efforts to impoverish citizens who are already impoverished by the system itself.

Let's Help Mami Yuli to get her Doctorate Degree in Constitutional Law, to inspire all citizens to get their rights, especially the right to a decent education, and also to give ways for Mami Yuli to continue her struggle, for the transgender community in Indonesia, as well as for all Indonesian people in general. And in time, we will all be a part of the success of Mami Yuli as the first and the only Transgender in Indonesia today, who is able to obtain a Doctorate Degree in Constitutional Law.

Support here:

The Indonesian Trans-Women Communication Forum/ Forum Komunikasi Waria Indonesia (FKWI) is an organization that carries out its mandate as a coordinated mean that focuses on social issues related to transgender women in Indonesia, both in terms of productivity of advocacy, social assistance, and group monitoring so that the rights of transgender women in the society is protected. One of the many social work carried out by FKWI is the Transgender Shelter which is aimed at empowering elderly transgender people.

FKWI is led by Yulianus Rettoblaut or familiarly called Mami Yuli as its Chairperson.

Contact info FKWI:
Contact info #YouAreNotAlone Arus Pelangi: or
Address: Gang Golf, nomor 176, Pancoran Mas, Kota Depok, Jawa Barat - INDONESIA
Mami Yuli contact: +6281315400628
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Rain Images Photography Support #BreakTheStigma

Let's join this good cause!

#BreakTheStigma campaign began in 2015 when I was working with HIVOS and we’re focusing on transgender, HIV+ and MSM sexual health (including LGBTQ rights) for 6 countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor (Timor Leste), Philippines, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. The campaign was to raise awareness that stigma towards the vulnerable key population is still high in numbers.
In 2017, #BreakTheStigma campaign is supported by Ukranian-Canadian Congress (UCC) and their Youth Engaging Youth (YEY) program together with Government of Canada on their #Canada150 celebration held a successful exhibition at Shadbolt Art Center in Burnaby, BC. It will cover people stigmatized as HIV+, LGBTQ+, racism, disability communities, mental health and indigenous people often attacked with harsh words. The intention is intended to raise awareness that stigma truly hurt people, even in disguised as jokes. 
Easy! I will ask you to pick one or two words  in English or in your own language, write them down on masking tape and sealed your mouth with it. The photos will be in black and white. The place of the photoshoot could be anywhere in Vancouver, or you can come to mini studio set-up in Commercial Drive. For some examples of the photos, check out Instagram: @BreakTheStigmaChapters
If you have other questions or want to make an appointment, click here.

Amazing Sunset At Hand

People tend to love staring at sunset. The beautiful colours, the moment of serenity and you just want to keep it that way. So take a picture to make it last longer! However, you try and try but you never got that perfect capture just like those Instagram postings. Well, there's special technique to capture a sunset. It's not that hard, just a bit challenging with several tricks on it. According to Jeff Meyer, you just need to set your camera to the right mode.  

First of all, sunset are all about the correct lighting to get that dim yellow with a small burst of light in the middle. Adjust your camera exposure to manual. I know some of you think "Oh no, this is difficult. I prefer automatic mode!" well, if you want it easy it won't give you a perfection, will it? Make the camera thinks you want it that way, not what the camera thinks it should be.

Secondly, focus is another important thing to be careful with. Try to manual focus instead relying the camera to do that for you. If you're on a beach for a sunset, sometimes there's rock, boat, leaves, etc. Try to make those things as a "filler" to your sunset picture. Focus on the part that interest you the most! 

Last but not least tips, try to capture your sunset in different exposure/ lighting. Take 3 to be safe, one with the bright exposure (a bit too bright), another with mid-exposure and the third with the low exposure so it's a bit dark. Then, combine all of them with the help of Photoshop to make a perfect picture with even brightness. To make it easier, I attach a "cheat sheet" here for your camera setting.

The next thing is, have fun to hunt for that perfect sunset!

The White Magical Beautiful Winter

A lot of people stay warm indoors or rather wait until summer to began go out and hunt some great shots. When actually, winter is one of the most beautiful season especially with all the snow. You can have great pictures combine with a little of creativity, winter shots actually pretty amazing! But then again, to keep you prepare (both physically and camera gears) photoshoot during winter takes a bit of preparation. Here's a few things you should keep in mind if you want to go out and take that chance of amazing winter shots.

Have warm boots, regardless. On a recent photographic excursion into the Great White I was wearing an old pair of boots that had cracked in the rubber along the side near the toes. Every step I took allowed snow into my boots, and by the time I got home I was wringing water from my sock (which was wrapped around a numb foot). Don’t over-dress. To some it may sound stupid, but anyone who has spent any time outside in cold weather will tell you the same thing. It is better to feel a slight chill while standing still rather than overheat while walking, giving the cold temperatures the opportunity to chill your sweat and possibly lower your body temperature, potentially leading to early-onset hypothermia.

Gloves should be taken with you, especially if you’re going to be out and about for an extended period or away from “civilization.” I hate the bulkiness of gloves, so I prefer to simply go without when possible. One option is to wear a thin pair of gloves (maybe with rubber gripping on the fingers) for use when photographing, and take a pair of mittens along for slipping over the gloves in between shooting. Another option is to use a pair of shooter’s gloves/mittens which allow you to pull a finger out for use on a trigger (or, in this case, shutter release).

Do not place your camera under your coat in hopes of warming it up or keeping your batteries from draining too quickly (discussed below). The warmth of your body heat and the moisture from sweat can be potentially harmful (to your camera). To be simple, keep your camera cold! However, it is crucial to keep your spare batteries warm. Batteries drain faster in colder temperatures, so it is wise to carry extras and maybe keep them in a pocket or inside your coat, closer to your body heat, until they are needed. Newer lithium ion batteries have less problems with this, but it’s still good advice, nonetheless. Nobody wants to be fumbling around in a bag for gear when they need it or dropping equipment in the snow. You also don’t want to be setting your bag down in the snow and risking any kind of water saturation. So, whether you’re using pockets, a backpack, or an actual camera bag, make sure you can reach your gear with little effort.

Never delete an image until you have had a chance to view it on a larger screen indoors. There have been many times when an image that looked like crap in the field turned out to be a wonderful image once I had a chance to fully examine it. Use your histogram to determine the exposure your camera is getting (discussed below), or simply bring along extra memory cards. I know this one is a bit difficult, but try using manual mode. Snow is bright and can be overpowering for your camera’s internal light meter. Using your camera in AUTO, or even APERTURE/SHUTTER PRIORITY mode will undoubtedly result in dark images since the camera is reading all of the bright light reflected from the snow and compensating accordingly. The best way to overcome this is by shooting in MANUAL and compensating accordingly.

Use your histogram to determine what actual exposure your camera is getting. You may also use your histogram as a guide for adjusting your settings while shooting in manual mode. Slowly warm up to room temperature along with the rest of your bag and its sundry contents. If you need to get your memory card out of the camera, be sure to do so before going inside. That way you won’t risk prematurely exposing your camera to the warm air. This goes back to whole issue of condensation forming inside your camera or lens.

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to go out with your camera in the lovely winter weather!

(source: Allen Mowery (

Foodtography? Why not!

Have you ever seen people taking pictures of their food before they eat it? The purpose is merely to "show off" of how good their food in the pictures for their social media. Now, making a great photographs of your food (or known as foodtography) is quite simple actually. You just need to know few basic rules about plating the dish, how to make it superb on the camera! Now here are some tips and ticks that could help you to be a great foodtographer.

Lighten up. Photographers always think of light first – the quality, direction and color of it. Use a large, natural soft light source, such as a window. Better yet, shoot outside. Cloudy days are great, but if you don't get one you can use a white sheet to diffuse direct light. Shoot close to and with the window directly behind, to the left of or right of your food subject (anywhere but at your back).

Bounce back. Bounce light back onto your food from the side opposite the window with a piece of white poster board to keep shadows from getting too dark.

Focus on the food. Pick simple backgrounds, props and plates that don't distract and aid in color harmony with the food. Backgrounds may seem unimportant, but they set the tone and mood of the shot.

Close-in on your subject. Use a slight telephoto lens (longer if you can). This helps soften background elements and helps keep food the focus. If you can, use a wide aperture to keep the background out of focus. Don't be afraid to let some of the subject go soft if you have a sharp area that maintains visual interest.

Hold still. Keep your camera steady to ensure sharp images. Use a tripod if you have one.

Warm it up. Bad color is unappetizing. Automatic white balance settings on digital cameras are often cool. Adjust the settings to warm up the shot and to make sure the color is as close to real as possible.

Dig up your camera's owner's manual. It sounds crazy, but you may just have to get out the directions for your camera to see what you can do with it...if you can find them.

Play with your food. Our moms told us not to, but when it comes to food photography, don't be afraid to move around, shoot from a variety of angles and just have fun. (Oh, but keep your elbows off the table.)

Take shots along the way. Food isn't just beautiful when it's "done." Take shots while you are sautéing, chopping and mixing, too.


Apart from the techniques, styling the food is also important. There are some basic rules to make the dish stands-out in the picture. Here are some simple tricks  in food styling:

Cut into it. Often the most interesting texture and color is inside your food.

Tend to the finishing touches. A drizzle of oil or a bit of freshly ground salt or pepper can quickly take a shot from simple to special.

Go green. Watch for herbs in your ingredient list to use as garnish. Sprigs of thyme, rosemary, basil or sage add texture and visual interest.

Keep it under wraps. Moist food is prettier than dry food, so keep it covered until you're ready to shoot it. Spritz or mist it with water or brush it with water or oil if needed.

Prop it up. Add a beverage or small flower, but remember the food is the hero.

There you go, have some fun on foodtography!



How to Choose the Best Photographer?

With the recent revolution of digital photography, it has become increasingly easier for the unskilled enthusiast to get their hands on a nice camera with professional potential and call themselves a pro photographer.

These essential tips will ensure that you aren’t trapped in the common pitfalls of the process and will help you choose the photographer best suited for the job:


  • This seems quite simple but you can’t beat word of mouth referrals. Ask your friends if they know of a good photographer.
  • When you are viewing the online gallery or portfolio of your potential photographer, you’ve got to look past the first few photos. However, if you dig a little deeper and find that the photography quality disintegrates quickly, or that the best shots come from only a handful of clients, you may want to find a photographer with more experience.
  • The question of affordability is always high on the list. Be sure to check all costs involved of both session fees and post-shoot display products.

"Most importantly, you are paying for the talent and experience that your photographer will bring to the table."


  • Make sure that your photographer can supply what you want (for the end product) and that they acquire it from professional sources. That doesn’t mean that the price needs to be sky-high, it just means that you’re getting quality product.
  • Most importantly, you are paying for the talent and experience that your photographer will bring to the table. You’re not just paying for the cost of ink being printed onto photo paper with some wood and glass holding it onto the wall.
  • You’re paying to get a photographic piece of art from a talented professional.