DPP7 :: The Experience.

May 4, 2013 — I logged out at 6am, went home to nap for about 45 minutes and went to Bonifacio High Street for the Digital Photographer Philippines 7th Anniversary & Photography Block Party.

It would be a long day, but I was so excited about all the lectures from the top photographers in the country.

I saw the Team Manila Table and immediately purchased a DPP7 Shirt, as I know I would need to change later because of the summer heat. When I found the main registration area, I filled-up the survey form, dropped my stub, bought some DPP Magazines, and started booth hopping.

Just as I hopped by the Cannon Booth, Sara Black was already starting her talk. There were available seats in front, so I took that opportunity to be able to listen to her discuss Fashion Photography. She talked about selling the product, and learning about fashion, taking internships at the industry you’d like to focus on, and tips on getting gigs. She shared her views on “Retaining the Integrity of the Photo”; checking the lighting and shadows and getting things right during the shoot and relying less on processing for the output. I loved her portfolio. The color and dreaminess of her photos, and the way she played with the ambient light. Oh, how I wish I could do those concept shoots as well!

I took the opportunity to walk around the sponsor booths to get my passport stamped, during the short breaks in between speakers. I got a few stamps at high noon; and there were still a lot of people lined-up at the Nikon Booth. Thus, I went back to the main stage for the lectures.

Wesley Villarica as he talked about How to Build an Effective Portfolio. And I was amazed to see his portfolio presentation, even more when I learned that he is just about my age. I thought he was just on his early twenties.

Jo Avila had a short talk about Food Photography in Seizing Your Hunger. He did a live shoot using a Transcend Wireless SD card hooked to an iPad that was feeding to the screen. He only took a few shots, and those looked amazing! I also loved how lively he discussed his craft. Simple, direct to the point, and witty. I would definitely enroll on his Basic Photography workshop soon!

Jay Tablante shared his passion for Comics and Photography when he discussed Costume and Play. He said that it was really a special day for him, as the Comic Book day at Fully Booked coincided with the DPP7 Anniversary where he gets to talk about his love for comics and photography. He was a passionate speaker, and he discussed how he and his team were able to produce those wonderful images. It was like seeing your favorite childhood cartoon character spring into life!

After the first talk, I went to the main stage, but Ricky Ladia and Jiggie Alejandrino were wrapping-up their Speed Light battle. They had the minor raffle, so I stayed a bit. I was hoping to score some accessories, but wasn’t lucky enough.

I really wanted to stay to listen to the next talk. but I was really dizzy and hungry, as I have been awake for 24 hours already. I went to Bonchon, had a large Iced Tea and my favorite Soy Garlic chicken. Still thirsty, I got myself a Large Pineapple Shake at Jamba Juice; then went booth hopping again.

It was really a long line so I missed the talk of Lito Sy, Tom Epperson, Niko Villegas, Pepe Diokno and Pilar Tuason. I did, however, got a chance to catch-up with Mike Caparas and Axl Guinto during the long wait at the Nikon Booth. We would sometimes swap places in order to get stamps and freebies from the other sponsors. I also got the chance to sign-up to the Nikon Club while we’re at it. 🙂

We were really thirsty and hungry then, so I tagged along with Axl to meet his fellow bloggers. We met at Agave, and I had a refreshing refillable glass of Lemodade.

After having our fill, and some rest, we went back to the main stage. Manny Librodo was already with his Q&A, and sharing his stories the DPP community. I realize how much I have missed coming in late for the talk, but I know I’ll be attending more of his talks in the near future.

I was planning to go around and take photos when Mike let me test his telephoto lens (Nikkor 55-300mm). My hands were shaky so he gave me tips on the setting, and I did my test shots as the game, Photographer’s Bluff started. It’s a great gear, but not really the lens I needed for the night, so I went back to my kit lens, just as the game wrapped up and awarded the 3 winners.

The Right Exposure game, was a special treat, as everyone in the audience got a chance to join. They had the seats removed, and asked the audience to line-up to the celebrity photographer for the right answer. I was only able to get up to the 3rd question, but I enjoyed the game despite being squeezed-in by the crowd.

Alas! It was Major Raffle Time and we were all excited! FujiFilm had a last-minute raffle item drawn by one of their executives. The winner of that camera also got a free seminar pass to one of the workshops. There were some accessories, and even bags that were thrown-away to the audience. There were also speed light, lenses, tripods, bags, and a lot of cameras raffled off. The Grand Prize was a Nikon D7100 body. Kit Lens or not, the winner had a huge smile on his face!

I was up for more than 36 hours but was still ecstatic before going to sleep. But at the end of the day, I learned a lot from the talks I attended; got a lot of freebies stuffed on my bag; I got to sign-up for Nikon Club; chatted-up with co-photography enthusiasts, Mike and Axl; and went home with a Transcend Card Reader when least expected. It was a happy day!

Happy 7th Anniversary Digital Photographer Philippines!

It was the one event that a budding photographer should not miss. I am definitely looking forward to DPP8 next year!

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