Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tripod, an Indispensable Camera Accessory

There are situations in friends or family gatherings where the photographer needs to have himself in the pictures of the group that he takes. His simplest way to do it is to mount the camera on a tripod and set the self timer to release the shutter. He then rushes to position himself in the group and wait for the shutter to click or the flash to discharge. By using the tripod he is able to frame well the position of the group in the LCD monitor, and by using the self timer he is also able to press the trigger release button even when his hands are off the camera thereby reducing the likelihood of having a camera shake that causes a blur in the picture.

The right combination of shutter speed, aperture and ISO in relation to the ambient light is the basic elements of proper exposure of a picture. In addition, choosing the appropriate white balance setting, focusing the subject on, and holding the camera steady while pressing the shutter release button result in the production of vivid and tack sharp pictures. A fast shutter speed reduces the chance of having blurry pictures. But there are many situations when one needs a long exposure to get the desired effects on the pictures that he is taking. 
 Low light or night photography subjects such as moon, fireworks, light trails need long-duration shutter speed, low ISO and mid range aperture such as f8 to f11, the sweet spots of many interchangeable lenses, to have sharp pictures with less noise. In that type of photos it is extremely difficult or even impossible to hand hold the camera without shaking the hands. That is a situation when a tripod comes in handy. It is even more of help if the photographer uses the self timer or a remote control via the infra red wireless signal transmission of the camera where he can release the shutter without depressing the shutter release button. Tripod is also a useful tool in enhancing the quality of image of subject in daylight in such photography genres as portrait, nature and macro among others.                                                                                                                                                              
It is fortunate that some modern digital cameras come with built-in shake reduction feature. DSLRs which do not have it use interchangeable lenses that have image stabilization capability in them.  However, the built in shake reduction feature in the camera body or lens is not a fail-safe guarantee of blur free image in all situation. The best remedy for a camera shake is the use of a tripod. However, there are many situations where tripod is not practical to bring along with or not convenient to use.     
Tripods come in variety of maximum height, weight, load capacity, leg sections, type of head and the metals used in legs and other parts. Those with carbon fiber constructions are more expensive than the aluminum ones. The ball type of head is usually a feature of the more expensive tripods. In choosing a tripod, one should consider its weight capacity in relation to the camera and the available lenses that he uses. It should be able to support the weight of his camera and other accessories mounted on it. He should also consider its maximum height and weight. A short tripod that is not proportionate to the photographer’s height or a very heavy one may hamper or limit his movement during his photo activities.                                                                                                        
Regardless whether a point and shoot, bridge, mirrorless or DSLR camera is used, a tripod is an indispensable tool to photographers whether he is an amateur or professional.  A tripod will definitely widen his experience and improve his skill as a photographer. The good thing is that tripod, unlike interchangeable lenses, is one of the cheaper camera accessories.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The 2014 Procession of the Black Nazarene in Cagayan de Oro

January 9, 2014, was the feast of the Black Nazarene. One of the activities for the occasion was a procession. Although it looked like rain, many devotees gathered at the road where the procession of the Black Nazarene would start. At about 3 pm as the carriage of the Black Nazarene was brought on the highway, police neophytes locked arms around it to prevent people from jostling into the Black Nazarene. There were police officers, village police and traffic administrators who accompanied the procession so that it would progress orderly and safely.  

There were already a large number of people who followed the Black Nazarene at the starting point of the procession. The mass of people swelled as other devotees who were waiting along the road for the carriage to pass by joined those who had already followed it. In the main thoroughfares the number of devotees increased even more so that it was difficult for one to get past other people in the midst of the multitude. The size of the crowd was overwhelming.   
In the course of the procession, some devotees shouted “Viva SeƱor Jesus Nazareno”. Others were praying the rosary, and still others tossed small towels into the carriage. Towels were caught by the escorts by the hands and wiped them on the sculpture.  The escorts then tossed back the towels to their owners. Devotees believe that towels or other objects that are rubbed on the Black Nazarene would have healing or miraculous powers.    
It seemed that the weather cooperated with the devotees throughout the procession. The sky was cloudy when the procession was about to start. However, it never rained in the afternoon or in the evening and even until the procession reached and ended at the Jesus of Nazareth Parish Church at about 7 pm. 

In Cagayan de Oro it was estimated that the number of people who attended or witnessed the procession was about 100,000. This is a very small number compared to that of Manila whose number of attendance to the similar procession was estimated at about 3 million people.  

The number of people who voluntarily attended the religious procession is an indication of the strong devotion to the Roman Catholic faith by many Filipinos. Despite the challenges faced by the church, many Catholics remain loyal to their faith for good reasons. Roman Catholicism is one of the oldest and original Christian Churches that is founded by Saint Peter himself who was an apostle of Jesus Christ.