Friday, March 28, 2008

Food Styling Secrets Revealed!

I received an email titled "Fast Food: Advertising vs Reality" showing pictures of ads of various fast food items versus the actual food photographs and got some replies to the stark contrast between the actual and the advertised versions.

I replied to the thread saying what they see on ads may not be food at all due to the tricks used by the food stylist in making the food subject look marvelous before the photographer takes over to shoot the "food."

as you know, the number one tip for aspiring food photographers is to hire a food stylist, the second tip is to hire a food stylist, the third is to hire a food stylist, then prepare the lighting equipment and composition.

my personal knowledge of the shoking truth of food photography and food styling are these:

what i know is that you clean the plates with glass cleaner to remove finger prints and other stains that may show in pictures

for salads, you sprinkle greens with glycerin to create the "wet look" fresh salad

the sesame seeds of the burger bun may have been placed there one by one by the food stylist while the buns are purposely baked for the photo

one of the photographers i talked to said a certain chicken company shot took two days because they couldn't roast the perfect chicken (if only we can order the perfect chicken regularly)

another narrated how the food stylist used a blow torch to "roast" the chicken to golden perfection but the insides remain raw, stuffed with tissue paper (cooked chicken shrinks, so plump chicken on pictures are fake) parts that can't be browned are painted by hand or manipulated in photoshop

for cereals, milk was replaced with white glue diluted so that the cereals won't turn soggy.

for ice cream, colored mashed potato is substituted for the real ice cream (real ice cream will instantly melt under the hot lights of the photographer

in cakes, they use styrofoam to hold the layers with the styrofoam covered by icing

others depends on the creativity of the food stylist

in food shots, the subject should look mouth watering first before the
photographer takes over with his lighting and composition

taking pictures in restaurants is hard simply because you have no food stylist
to make your food mouth watering made worse by available lighting which is always bad (tip: i prefer to be seated near an open or glass window when I want to
take pictures of food for my blog)

food photographers might kill me for divulging these secrets!

food stylist for food = make up artists/shoot directors for fashion/glamor and an overdose of photoshop...

that's "truth" in advertising!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pinky Webb Photos

The gorgeous Pinky Webb photos captured in Boracay last March 10, 2008 where ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda had a live telecast.

Below are some shots of the gorgeous Pinky Webb. Other stars that day include Rica Peralejo, Donita Rose, Edu Manzano, Kim Atienza (i don't consider him a star, I don't know how he managed to market himself as a knowledgable person after the death of Ernie Baron)

pinky webbthe exotic, sun-tanned and stunning Pinky Webb, a TV news anchor of ABS-CBN, ANC and of radio station DZMM. Daughter of former senator and tv personality Freddie Webb. She's also the sister of former PBA player Jason Webb and Hubert Webb (of Vizconde...).

pinky webbanother angle of the alluring Pinky Webb

Pictures taken during Umagang Kay Ganda in Boracay Island's White Beach in front of La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel in Station 2.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Nikon D80 Nikkor 18-200 VR Review/Price

I just acquired a new camera three weeks ago starting with a slightly used Nikkor 18-200 VR from Atty. Raymond Fortun at PhP25,000.00, quite a steal actually for less than a month used lens.

A few days later, since I can't stand the thought of having a lens but can't use it, went to Hidalgo, Quiapo to buy a new Nikon D80 DSLR at P34,000.00 with free 1GB SD card and camera bag. A friend suggested waiting for the replacement of the D80 or upgrade to D200 or D300 but it's actually out of my league besides being not cheap.

The first shots of the camera were taken at Shawarma Snack Center near Robinsons Place Manila where we went for a food trip after. The real field test and sample pictures were at my recent trip to Boracay currently featured at Travel Philippines Backpacking Asia blog.

Review and comments: the 18-200 VR is a great all-around lens at such range. Not intended for low light photography due to its being slow at f5.6. At around 100mm, you may have to stop down to f11 for the sharpness you're looking for.

I intend only to buy a Nikkor 50mm f1.8, an UWA lens and probably a telephoto for butterfly and bird watching trips.

Such an expensive hobby, actually! :P

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Problem With Globe SMS Prepaid Users Only

Last Friday, Text messages from Globe's prepaid subscribers had a problem sending and receiving text messages. Some even reported lost loads while my sister complained of unlimitxt yet no messages can't be sent.

The problem was only fixed last night after a few days. No official press release from Globe is available. Postpaid (plan) subscribers are not affected.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ATV/Bug Car for Hire

I had the opportunity to see ATVs (all terrain vehicles) in action on Boracay Island racing with tricycles and bug cars (either 1 or two seaters).

Herewith is a picture of an ATV parked near Mt. Luho view deck.

ATV Rental shops can be found in Barangay Yapak, Boracay (mostly near the entrance of Fairways and Bluewater Resort Golf and Country Club, to get there, hire a tricycle from anywhere on Boracay)

Rental Price:

single-seater ATV Rental rate: PhP1k
2-seater ATV cost: PhP1.5k
Bug Car rental cost: PhP2k

prices are negotiable as always.

Note: ATV means All Terrain Vehicle

There are ATV rentals in Metro Manila so you try out the off-road beasts nearby. No idea of the costs though.

Please see also:

Cheap Boracay Package
Boracay Courtyard
La Carmela de Boracay
Boracay Lake Town Bar and Restaurant
Seafood in Boracay
Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing
White Beach Pictures
Diniwid Beach
Puka Beach

Pacquiao Marquez Free Video Online

They met for years ago, but the recent Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez fight was not really a convincing one. Pacquiao won the first encounter if not for a scoring error on one of the judge's score card

The Pacquiao-Marquez was a very close fight and also very ripe for a third encounter if not for money matters and the plan of Pacquiao and Roach to move up to the lightweight division to challenge Mexican chmapion Diaz.

For sure you can seach YouTube for you to watch free videos of Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

Yesterday I drove on EDSA going to Pinyahan and found EDSA with little traffic. Went home around 2pm and the bout's just about to start on TV. I could've taken pictures of Pacquiao-Marquez 2 if wanted to since I already knew the result including the thrid round knockdown.

Congratulations to Manny Pacquiao and the Philippines!

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

How to Win the Lotto in the Philippines (PCSO)

No, it's not one of those spam messages telling you won a certain lottery somewhere without you even buying a ticket. They'll "request" you to make advance payments to claim your prize and disappear without a advance fee fraud :(

The Philippine Lotto's grand prize is now a whopping P162,200,000.00 and counting. Many Filipinos maintain a set of magic numbers that they hope to be the next winning numbers to the grand prize of PCSO Lotto.

How many tickets do you need to buy in order to win the lottery? I depends on the system, for example Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office’s (PCSO) Superlotto 6/49 requires you 6 numbers out of a pool of 49. In mathematical terms (probability and statistics), it translates to a combination of 6 out of 49.

Combination Formula:
C(n,r) = n!/(n-r)!r!

for Superlotto 6/49: n=49, r=6

for example Lotto 6/42 and SuperLotto 6/49:

6/42 : 5245786 combinations at P10/ticket requires P52,457,860.00 to buy all tickets

6/45 : 8145060 combinations at P10/ticket requires P81,450,600.00 to buy all tickets

6/49 : 13983816 combinations at P20/ticket requires P279,676,320.00

How to win the Lotto Grand Prize? Simple yet requires a lot of capital and lotto outlets unless you can automate ticket printing.

Wait for the time when the jackpot reaches P280M (plus estimated overhead expenses) then buy all possible combinations. The pot will increase once you you buy the additional tickets possibly reach almost double the initial prize since part of your bet is placed as part of the total pot. (this is out of this world for the average pinoys)

Risks: There might be more than one winning ticket so you have to share the grand prize with the other winner/s.

Other variants of the game:
EZ2 requires only two numbers while Swertres, three numbers.

Prizes for 6/49
for 5 numbers: PhP 56,000.00
4 numbers: PhP 1,000.00
3 numbers: PhP 100.00

Historical Trivia: Jose Rizal, Philippine National Hero, played and won the lottery in 1892 while in exile in Dapitan.

Related Post:
How to Claim Lotto Prize

Lotto; SuperLotto; Lottery; How to Win the Lottery; How to Win the Lotto; Sure Win Lottery; Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office; EZ2; Swertres

Friday, March 14, 2008

Metrobank Downtime, Offline ATM Problem

The country's largest bank in terms of assets, Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, has been down since yesterday due to system problem. I can't exactly say what is the cause of the problem out of courtesy to my well-placed contacts inside the bank.

I was informed of this yesterday and up to now all their ATMs are off-line right smack on a coming payday. An update just came out that issuer transactions will be up today.

This problem involves Metrobank subsidiary, PSBank.

Just imagine the huge loss in transactions for on-us/proprietary, switched/interbank and credit card cash advances. But the biggest loss possibly in on their own customer confidence in them.

Related Post:

Metrobank Bank Code = 010269996

Thursday, March 13, 2008

San Miguel Scandal

This ain't about the world famous San Miguel Beer (of which my favorite is the Super Dry variant...I only drink socially for two or three bottles)

Two San Miguels hugged the headlines recently:

Janina San Miguel fumbled with her Question and Answer portion of Bb. Pilipinas 2008 beauty pageant with her reply (or non-reply) showing how ladies vying for the coveted title has the beauty and body but lacking in brains in a contest where brains play a big part.

Earlier, at the Philippine Senate's investigation of the anomalous ZTE Broadband deal, Sen. Ping Lacson was surprised when his "surprise" witness, Leo San Miguel, avoided questions all day long that contradicted statements of the whistle blower Joey de Venecia III and star witness Jun Lozada. Senate investigations are really full of lies and deceptions!

It's also ironic that San Miguel district of Manila is also the seat of Malacanang, where the throne of the Iron Lady is located!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Nikon Philippines!?

I received this email from a forum I've been lurking in and immediately opened it. From the moment I read it, noticed it already as a hoax, know why?

The email has lots of wrong grammar for an executive
Harry Abad, doesn't seem like he's working in HK
News like that are announced officially in Nikon's site, other official channels and not via email only!

I guess though August 10 has got to be important for the hoax mailer, probably his birthday

on a sidenote, I'm now an official Nikon user with a Nikon D80 and Nikkor 18-200 VR lens :P

btw, if you're looking for Nikon camera and lens repair service, try to contact Columbia Digital (CDSC)



Your worries will soon end ! We will be launching the* NIKON Philippines*
this year, *August 10, 2008* to be exact. It means no more CDSC... (sorry Mr
Tan). The prices of all Nikon products ( body,lenses etc) will drastically
minimize as to compete the prices from the other retailers. Rest assured
that the prices is lower than in Hidalgo or other palces that selling GREY

Your continuous appreciation of Nikon products, as well as your many
feedbacks (1000 plus e-mail a day regarding AFTERSALES & LOCAL PRICES) make
us decide to finally put up NIKON Philippines sooner than we opt to.

So expect more announcements soon about NIKON Philippines.

Respectfully yours,
Harry Abad
VP for Sales and Marketing
Nikon HongKong

*** Mr. Harry Abad will soon be the GM of Nikon Philippines

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Google Hates Paid Posts in Blogs: PageRank Removed

While bloghopping I noticed several blogs with PR3 or PR4 now with PR0 (no pagerank) according to my SearchStatus add-on of Firefox. One of them even blogged about her experience (in Filipino) when she received an email supposedly from Google warning her about paid posts (like Payutoblog and others) for $5/post or use the "nofollow" tag.

She deleted the alleged post complained of but found out the next day her PR was removed

several blogs linking to my main blog also got PR0 rating and I know my PR will alsobe affected since high-ranking blogs suddenly lost their PR. My backpacking philippines blog still has no PR due to it's being new. Hoping to get at least a PR3 or PR4 then aim for PR5 in conjunction with more quality posts

Note: I once applied for paid reviews at PayPerPost, got approved, but didn't continue with it nor write a single paid article.