Albert Facultad: Blog en-us (C) Albert Facultad (Albert Facultad) Sun, 01 Jan 2017 02:29:00 GMT Sun, 01 Jan 2017 02:29:00 GMT Albert Facultad: Blog 120 80 2016 Year In Review

]]> (Albert Facultad) Sun, 01 Jan 2017 01:23:02 GMT
Anime Expo 2016 - Day 1 Here are my photos taken at Anime Expo 2016. I was only able to go to day 1, so coverage was minimum. Enjoy!

]]> (Albert Facultad) Fri, 22 Jul 2016 18:07:58 GMT
SFO - A short film
A short film on SFO of planes landing, taking off and taxiing in slow motion!

]]> (Albert Facultad) Fri, 24 Jun 2016 05:59:49 GMT
Fanime 2016 Photo Coverage - Day 2 So here's Day 2. While linecon slowly died down, the organizers made a few changes this year that made things a little inconvenient for the photographers. The "photog alley" was now designated for the gatherings for pretty much the entire day until 7pm. We moved our little mobile studio to the red tanbark area where we shared the tiny space with a few others. Although the results were different from what I planned, it could have been worse. 

But first, here's a few sniped photos:

And last but not least, what everyone’s been waiting for:     

]]> (Albert Facultad) Fri, 10 Jun 2016 08:06:45 GMT
Fanime 2016 Photo Coverage - Day 1 It's finally over; Fanime 2016 and all 4 days of its glory had passed and we're all let here feeling a sense of emptiness - some may call it Post Con Depression. For us that do media, we hit the ground running with all the photos and video collected throughout the weekend, sorting though thousands of photos or hours of footage and carefully crafting together galleries and reels while managing inboxes full of anticipating cosplayers. It's hard to balance work/personal life when an overbearing sense of pressure from all front to deliver the goods breathes down your neck, but alas: patience​ is a virtue. It's a pattern that occurs every year - a drought of coverage the first week, save for a couple of mobile uploads, then a full on media assault on all social networks. Here's my little contribution to that. 

This year was a little different - I wanted to do more video this time so I limited myself from photography. And instead of sniping shots from far away with my 400mm f/2.8, I had a speedlight setup to do staged shoots. 

Skip to day 2 here

On day 1, I stopped by Doubletree to do a shoot with @
kyuteapiecosplay, @ryuzaki_cosplay, @delverite, and @n1ghtghost. They pretty much drove up from SoCal that morning, prepped for fanime and did the shoot.

After that, I picked up my pass from the Clockwork Alchemy booth and headed towards SJCC to take a few quick shots of the happenings outside the con.

Trying to dodge the heat, I headed over to the Fairmont since I've scheduled a shoot with my friend @
kissywan. We went to the fountain right out front since the Fairmont pool did not allow photos/video. We quickly found out that the water is recycled nastiness that's been collected and pumped out for who knows how long. It was shocking to watch people bathe in this and parents letting their children play around it. We wrapped out as fast as possible and GTFO there. 

I decided to snipe a few more shots before switching over to video. The sun was playing nice this time so I was able to get some solid footage (seen here). Enjoy the rest of the photos!

]]> (Albert Facultad) Fri, 10 Jun 2016 07:48:49 GMT
[Video] Fanime 2016 Mashup!

A compilation of various cosplays in this year’s FanimeCon. Shot with the BlackMagic Design Ursa Mini 4K with Canon L lenses, this was my first time shooting video in Fanime and also my first time out with this new cinema camera.

]]> (Albert Facultad) Sat, 04 Jun 2016 10:24:23 GMT
PicsArt: A powerful app for editing photos on the go  

You might have heard of the quote “the best camera is the one you carry with you”. In my case, I carry my DSLR with me all the time. It’s pretty much unavoidable since photography is my full time gig, so being able to ditch 45 lbs of gear at home and just use my iPhone for fun stuff is very appealing but there’s a catch; Like most of you, I find it really frustrating editing photos on my phone. I would load up my phone with several different editing apps just to get almost the same toolset as Lightroom and Photoshop, but switching between apps gets mind numbing and slows my workflow to a crawl. Luckily, there’s Picsart!

Picsart not only brings all the necessary tool set under one roof, but they have a very active user base and original content. This all-in-one app combines blog, editing tools, photo contests, social sharing and editing together. White other apps feature only photo sharing, Picsart encourages others to connect, inspire and even edit other photos to showcase different levels of artistic interpretations using their editing suite. The possibilities are endless - for example:

Shooting sunsets with my DSLR requires bringing along a graduated ND filter and eyeball the right setting to nail the perfect exposure.

With Picsart, all I have to do is take two shots; one exposed for the sky and then the landscape and bring them together using Add Photo.

Line them up as close as you can..

And start erasing the other layer. There’s a doorway popping out into the horizon in this photo, so masking it out took me a few tries.


Lens flare! Yes, it’s a very cheesy effect but when used correctly, it can enhance an otherwise plain looking sunset. Adjustable opacity, hue and blending modes makes it easier to make the flare more natural looking.

I like using color gradients to bring out colors that I actually see that weren’t quite captured with my iPhone camera. This can also be used to make unique artistic touches.

And here’s the finished product! Overall, it didn’t take long to translate my photoshop/lightroom workflow over to Picsart once you familiarize yourself with the tools and adjustments. For me, this brings back the fun in photography and being able to shoot and edit on the fly is pretty awesome. I’m able to create content faster and with additional accessories like the Olloclip, the possibilities are endless!

]]> (Albert Facultad) Fri, 13 May 2016 14:30:23 GMT
JDM Marina Meet 2016

]]> (Albert Facultad) Sat, 23 Apr 2016 21:52:02 GMT
Golden Gate Drift 2016 - Round 1

]]> (Albert Facultad) Mon, 11 Apr 2016 19:14:55 GMT
2015 a Year in Review
It's that time again where I look back at everything I've photographed through the year and pick out my top favorites. I've skipped 2014 so I owe it to myself to make one for 2015. This year was huge for me - I left my job as a Dental Assistant to pursue photography full time. It has led me to interesting pathways and although the journey has been a roller coaster ride of highs and lows, it has lead me to very interesting situations and places. Nevertheless, here's my photographic essay of my journey.



One of my earliest shoots of this year was Boris' MKIV Supra right by Levi's Stadium. Ever since crashing mine years ago, I've always wondered what it would have been if I had it today; what it would look like and what mods it would have. I wouldn't be writing this right now if that was the case since I would probably have spent the years building it up instead of jumping into the financial black hole that is photography.
The Shukai meet in Japantown, San Jose was when I started experimenting with tighter shots of cars rather than revealing the entire subject. The builders put so much work in the details that it gets lost in a wide shot.

Another example of a detailed close up at Cars and Coffee in Santana Row.

The first time going to a GoPro GrandPrix as an employee's guest was a blast; free beer and churros plus the track was right next to the campground. This year didn't have that, so I was a bit more focused on shooting the race. 
Out of hundreds of slow shutter pan shots made, there were only a handful that turned out fine. Honestly, I was disappointed in myself that for a whole day - I couldn't nail a decent shot.
This was my first time shooting drift with my new Canon 400mm f/2.8 IS. It's a totally different beast than with what I was used to so I would practice panning shots on the freeway adjacent to my house. They end up sucking obviously, so fast shutter/frozen-in-time shots were the only ones that ended up okay.


slice of life

I almost didn't shoot this sunset at Pigeon Point Lighthouse until I stumbled on this weathered old phone booth. I had my Canon 11-24mm f/4 at the time so it made the interior more spacious than it looks. The dirt coating on the glass diffused the golden sunlight and the deep blue setting sky nicely.

My dad had a Leica M8 and a 50mm f/1 that I used occasionally when I want to take a break from shooting heavy gear. I have a three photos here shot with this setup.
Shot with the Leica M8/50mmf/1 combo (1/3) - The Pacifica Pier is one of my favorite places to shoot the sunset. 
My younger brother Christian bought his first DSLR last year and has been shooting with it constantly ever since. I wanted him to experience how to photographed people, so I suggested he starts of shooting his friends to get off on an easy start. His friend Maylee was up for the part.

For his birthday/Christmas present this year, my fam put together funds to buy him a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS.

Speaking of Christian, here he is.

A shoot with Miss Philippines 2015. A bizzare re-edit of one of my photos was used in the Miss Philippines facebook cover photo. I guess they really wanted her to have a pink dress instead. 
My buddy Mike picked up the new Sigma 24mm f/1.4 and naturally I wanted to try it out. Nanette was awesome enough to model for me at the Palace of Fine Arts.
After a long day of shooting guns in the back country of Groveland, we stopped by a cliff side to check out the view.



self portraits

Yeah, selfies. The one thing I really don't like photographing is myself. I picked up a ring light along the way and I didn't have anyone to practice on. Pardon the unkempt facial hair.
With the help of Myron and Catherine, I was able to make a few portal shots. Here's one out at Davenport Beach.

Another one near the Golden Gate Bridge.




I was super stoked that I was able to time lapse the NBA finals. This was during the end of the last game, I was on the balcony with DJ Umami to lapse the crowd getting lit. 
For FlexxMafi a's shoot, I had to rig a few softboxes to get that strip light effect. This was shot last minute in my garage with a hastily put together setup.
There was a time where I paid my bills by shooting swimming. 
I spent the first half of the day snowboarding, then decided to take photos after one too many Jameson shots taken at a bar on the summit.   



the ocean

I've always been fascinated with the ocean and sunsets. It has been a reoccurring motif this year and I consider myself lucky living within minutes to the most beautiful beaches in the world. 
After upgrading my 300mm to a 400mm and purchasing a 2x extender, I was able to have enough reach to do surf photography. I've always wanted to shoot surf, but never had the adequate gear. My friend David just got back into surfing, so we've spent a good amount to time trying to catch the biggest waves. 
I would love to experience what that guy is going through. Then again, there might be sharks.
Monterey is a nice place to visit when it's not foggy
For some reason, I always end up at Sutro Baths every time I go out to shoot sunset. 

Back to Davenport Beach again. There's something so intriguing about remnants of the golden age of the Industrial revolution.
The best part is when there's no moon at night. Another photo at Sutro Baths. There's always something new and exciting every time I come here. 
One of the rare moments when the planets align for an epic sunset moment.
Oceanscapes are just as mysterious as they are vast.

Right after the sun dips over the horizon and the sky erupts with colors, I was lucky enough to catch this surfer right before the wave closed up.
Shot with the Leica M8/50mmf/1 combo (2/3) - It took us almost half a year to plan it, most because of schedule conflict and distance, but we've managed to squeeze in a quick beach shoot before I have to leave right away to shoot a wedding.




Shooting cosplay is where I get to shoot for fun. There isn't much room to take things slow when you're under pressure when shooting weddings and gigs, so it's nice to go on my own pace and try oddball methods. I started using my 300mm last year for portraits and again for this years cons. 
I like using superteles for portraits since just like cars, you'll miss out the fine details that these coplayers put into their craft that can be easily overlooked with a wide shot.
Plus you get the benefit of completely blowing up the background which gives you interesting color effects.
I like the challenge of it, which pushes me to think outside the box. I would often reposition myself several times just to get a flair effect just right using objects between me and the subject.
Sometimes you have to make the background work for you.
This was my first time bringing my strobes to a con. I hate the thought of lugging it around but after the sun started to set and the crowd started to gather indoors, I had to use something to overpower the fluorescent lights. 
After a complete gear overhaul, I'm excited to see what's in store for next year.




With the 16th World Kendo Championships coming up, the folks over at San Jose Kendo Dojo are gearing up for their portraits for the press kit. 
I flew to Japan with Team USA to document the championships. While there, I did a little bit of sight seeing.
The famous Fushimi Inari-taisha was a sight to behold. It was a solid hike to cover the entire shrine, but worth it.
After the hustle and bustle of the daily routines of the Tsukiji fish market, there was an eerie quietness calmness amidst the buzzing of machinery. It was a challege shooting WKC with so many things going on in different courts.
Catherine Kikunaga steps into what would be her last match for Team USA.  


weddings / engagements

One of my favorite engagement sessions with Mitch and Angie.  
I feed off the vibes that couples put out during my shoots. Happy couple = happy photos! 
The best part of shooting one your best friend's engagement session is hanging out with your best friend. Rahmi and his fiance Ally poses for an epic Little Mermaid-inspired shot.  I was second shooting for Alex Wong for Steve and Kengsha's wedding when the clouds lit up with color during sunset.
The colors we so vibrant and the lighting was just perfect during the sunset.
 The next couple of photos is of my Brother JR's for his wedding. The cherry blossoms at the Golden Gate Botanical gardens complimented Barry's shirt nicely.  It wasn't hard capturing the precious moments before the big day -  These guys were in bliss.
The scenery in Sebastopol made the wedding weekend epic.
Shot with the Leica M8/50mmf1 combo (3/3) - I told my brother to do the one thing that would annoy Barry the most. 
This shot needed a lot of work. There were several wedding guests bystanding in the back ground that needed to be removed  and a few lighting fixes to capture exactly what I have envisioned for this shot. I think it turned out pretty good.
One of the many fleeting moments of the night. 
A single flash can make all the difference in the world.
I like how this one turned out for being mostly natural light. The light was a good mixture of softness and intensity to make the perfect exposure.
I tried to recreate the same shot right outside the hotel room since the light in the lobby had the same softness but without the dark shadows. 
Wedding shoes can be pretty tough to shoot if you don't have much to work with, so you have to get back down to the basics.
I just rained an hour earlier before we showed up to the park. The water added a nice reflective surface on the rocky pathway. 
I was working against time before the sun completely dips in this photo. My softbox had a golden reflector when reversed, giving it that warm light to contrast the cool sky.  



And there you have it. I will leave you know of this photo of a seagull catching a crab



]]> (Albert Facultad) Fri, 01 Jan 2016 04:29:41 GMT
Winter Jam 2015
I'ts that time of the year again - Winter Jam! I'm out here at Sonoma to document NorCals most talented drifters with guest FormulaD drivers showing up for some action.

]]> (Albert Facultad) Sun, 20 Dec 2015 18:54:30 GMT
Christmas in the Park Gathering
Christmas in The Park Gathering an annual meet up for cosplayers in the middle of Downtown San Jose. Since most anime series have a that one Christmas episode, there's no short supply of Holiday themed alternate looks. 

]]> (Albert Facultad) Sun, 13 Dec 2015 04:48:14 GMT
San Francisco Auto Show 2015 – VIP/Media event

I’ve been lucky enough to somehow score some passes for the VIP/Media event for this year’s San Francisco Auto Show thanks to the help with a few supraforums buddies. It was supposedly a suit and tie event, so I threw together a suite and filled my flask before I uber’d it over to the Moscone Center to check out the latest and greatest of the automotive industry.

After being ushered in the lobby, I descended down the huge mezzanine where I was greeted with free champagne and tri tip. Of the two hours I was here, I think I’ve spent more time here than actually looking around. Why you ask?

It’s like walking through a carpeted parking garage. If you get excited over a $38k Honda accord, then this event is for you. I mean, some of the cars aren’t bad, but you have to walk through isles of Chevy Aveos to get to the Camaro SS which looks exactly like last year’s Camaro SS.













BMW had this on display, which was a stark contrast from their post Chris Bangel travesties.



Here’s a few shots of Lexus doing what they do best; trying hard not to be BMW while doing BMW.

Look at this Veyron, which looks exactly the same as it was in 2005.

Ooh, cardboard fiber.

Oh hey, a Mitsubishi STD

LOL this ecotech turbo is bigger than my phone. This table displays the parts that you have to replace during the 100k mile maintenance schedule.

What’s this? The next Supra? LOL fuck no, its a hyped up prius sedan. You think Toyota would make anything fun again? Get real.

Is that a space shuttle simulator? No! It’s a driving simulator for their new F-150 where you take their new truck off-roading at the local Safeway’s pot hole filled parking lot.

Wow a mustang! A MUSTANG! Nothing is more basic bro than waving around a dealer spec sheet at the local ricer meet saying you can beat anyone in a race but won’t because technically the bank owns it and putting fart pipes on voids the warranty.

I’m so rich, my doors will ding your quarter panels instead of your door, you poors!

I thought Lambo doors were out of style in the 2000’s but hey, enjoy getting stuck in your $200,000 coffin when this thing flips belly-up on an embankment because Bobby 80 year old CEO wants to impress his 18 year old trophy misstress but couldn’t handle the power.

My homie presenting this PROTOTYPE corolla. What does it do? Does it go fast? Do you race it? Do you track it? I don’t know! All i know is that the ricer body kit is detachable judging from the way it was separating from the chassis from the melting double sided tape. I guess it’s a feature.

Yawn, 15 mins walking around the basic bitch section had me sleepy, so I hopped over the modified street cars to check out things that are actually interesting.

Way cooler than the stock cars. Time to finish this flask and go home but not before I swoop on 5 more champagnes since the tri tip ran out. See you next year!


]]> (Albert Facultad) Sat, 21 Nov 2015 02:44:00 GMT
Review: Canon Touch-Up Paint

I know I know, wear marks give lenses their own characteristics. But to hell with that, like it makes my photos look any different. I care more about client presentation that some romanticized imagery of a battle hardened pro with beat up gear – So I decided to pick up a bottle of Canon touch up paint.

My 400mm f/2.8L IS arrived in great condition save for a few wear marks mostly concentrated on the foot. After sticker bombing the hood with my logo, I looked online for methods other used to cover up the ugly wear marks. A few people praised the Tamiya XF-55 deck tan model paint but after picking up a bottle, I found it to a bit too brown and dark. Canon has a tiny can of their OEM paint going for $50 but since i’m not going to restore entire portions of the lens, I opted for the fairly cheap Canon White touch up paint from NEPhoto for $18.

Here’s the foot before painting.




Then after –


I cant even there it’s there. I went hog wild and covered up every brassing I could find on the body. The thing looks brand spanking new! Even under direct sunlight, I could barely tell the difference except for the areas that weren’t textured due to paint chipping. Oh whale.

This gets 4 thumbs up from me *throws feet in the air*

]]> (Albert Facultad) Tue, 17 Nov 2015 02:47:00 GMT
Beach Shoot

Shooting with Midnight Kumiko on a sunny day at the beach

It took forever for our schedule to free up, but finally me and Claudia had a few hours on a Saturday to pull of an hour shoot at the beach. For the shoot, I brought out the Leica M8.2 + 50mm f/1 in addition to my normal gear just to mix things up. See if you can spot the difference:


Leica M8.2 + 50mm f/1


]]> (Albert Facultad) Thu, 08 Oct 2015 02:21:00 GMT
Shūkai San Jose My coverage of the third annual Shūkai event that promote and support the last remaining Japantowns in the US and help raise awareness within the community. There's a good mix of cars of every different flavor, from muscle cars to old school imports, the turn out was pretty good. About 4 blocks of San Jose Japantown were blocked off for the event, so there are plenty of cars to look at.

]]> (Albert Facultad) Mon, 14 Sep 2015 06:06:49 GMT
Gear Review: Leica M8.2 | Noctilux 50mm f/1 | ELMARIT-M 90mm f/2.8  


After a long weekend at SacAnime, I had some free time during Labor day to go around the city and do some fun non-work related photography stuff. As I was packing up my usual kit, I stopped for a moment and remembered that my dad had a Leica M8.2. Since I was staying at my parents house for the weekend, I borrowed the Leica to shoot for the day and left my Canon setup at home.

It was refreshing to carry a camera body with 2 lenses weighing less than my Canon 1D X alone. I felt like I can move around normally and not think about shifting my weight to counter balance an equivalent of a 2 year old around my neck. It’s pretty stealthy and I like how it was much less intrusive snapping away while walking around the streets and wouldn’t nearly get as much attention as holding up a huge square camera with a forearm size lens.

For my first stop, I went to the Palace of Fine Arts since guaranteed there will be a plethora of tourists around because of the holiday. Once I started walking around, my expectations were not disappointed.

Leica M8.2

This particular model wasn’t as popular as the Leica M9. It was Leica’s first digital camera, so the technology was not as polished and it suffered a few quirks that gave it a bad rep. The M8 was initially released in 2007 and the M8.2 at 2011, it had a  1.3 crop factor (same size as the Canon 1D mark IV) 10 megapixel APS-H CCD sensor from Kodak. The sensor is really sensitive to IR, so sometimes black fabric appear to be purple. The M8.2 is upgraded with a sapphire glass rear screen and had a few cosmetic changes.

ELMARIT-M 90mm f/2.8


The 90mm is an older design but still pretty damn good. It suffers from flair since its basically an empty tube with the elements placed towards the front section. You an actually unscrew the two sections apart, but I’m not sure if that’s suppose to happen or if it became loose over the years. I like using flair in my photography, so it wasn’t a huge deal to me. The only issue is that at this focal length, it gets kinda weird since your viewfinder doesn’t “zoom in being a rangefinder and all, so it takes a while to get used to.

Noctilux 50mm f/1

This is by far my favorite 50mm. I have the plastic fantastic Canon f/1.8 and the ham beast f/1.2L and they can’t even come close to being as good as this. Wide open, the DOF and subject isolation is ridiculous. Stopped down, it’s sharper than my 11-24mm f/4L and 300mm f/2.8 IS. Leica took out all the stops when building this lens and spared no expense  and made no compromises. With a retail value of almost $10k, it performs superbly (as it should be). Even at 10 MP, it looks like it was taken with a high megapixel camera like the Canon 5DsR and scaled down. Micro contrast, sharpening and color all work together make your images pop out from the screen. The only downside I noticed with a lens of this age is that it exhibits some chromatic aberration, but then that can be easily corrected in post production.
There was a huge swan in the lake that happened to set up shop near me to dry off. I snapped a few shots to show how much clarity I can pull from its feathers. Of course, it was obliged to pose for a few shots.

Also within the mix, a few white herons take an opportunity to show off their stuff.
I was lucky enough to stumble on an Indian wedding when I was there, so I took the opportunity to take a few shots to test out the dynamic range capabilities of the camera. As you can see in this photo, the hot spots can be controlled without pushing the shadows too far, but then of course the sky is blown.  

While there was still a good amount of sun left from the day, I went to the Pacifica Pier to grab some golden hour shots and hopefully an orange sunset.

I wasn’t able to grab some shots of the sun dipping into the horizon since the battery died out. 306 photos seemed relatively low from a fully charged battery, but then again I was used to taking 200-500 shots by mashing my 
1DX at 14fps. It was nice to take things slow once in a while and methodically think about my shots before even pressing the shutter button. I can see how Leica owners can become elitist since not only is the skill demand higher, but there’s something unique about how Leica glass renders a scene. Overall, the experience was truly rewarding and it brings me back to when I first started photography. It actually made it a whole lot more fun again.

I think i’ll take a few more batteries with me next time.

Bonus Shots





]]> (Albert Facultad) Sat, 12 Sep 2015 19:28:00 GMT
SacAnime 2015
So me and Mike from ThoseAreNice head out to Sacramento to document this year's SanAnime. My coverage starts from day 2 since we were unable to make it to opening day. SacAnime is usually held during summer, so temperatures were at the 3 digit mark before noon, so we were roasting as soon s we stepped out of the car.

Before I show you the photos, check out a video I made!




]]> (Albert Facultad) Mon, 07 Sep 2015 02:21:00 GMT
Featured Cosplayer: Midnight Kumiko Today's update features Cosplayer Midnight Kumiko in her Dragon Nest outfit at Fanime 2015. Be sure to check out her work and give her a shoutout and a follow on facebook!

]]> (Albert Facultad) Wed, 19 Aug 2015 07:32:00 GMT
SF Anime & Cosplay Festival 2015

]]> (Albert Facultad) Sun, 19 Jul 2015 18:29:37 GMT