So you’ve all seen my wife’s maternity shoot but came September 14, 2012 at exactly 4:08pm in UST Hospital… a “Star” was born!

I would like you all to meet our 7.1lbs precious princess… Tala Isabelle Santos Lim.

Does her name have a meaning?

Tala" which literally means "Star" in Filipino and is also the name of the Goddess of Stars in Tagalog Mythology.

"Isabelle" which means "My God is a Vow" in Hebrew.

So why Isabelle and not Isabel?

Isabelle is the French version of Isabel, and incorporates the word ‘belle’ - French for beautiful. That’s why!

I guess I really have to buy a new hard drive dedicated for Tala to sustain the amount of photos I’ll be taking of her.  Oh, by the way, I always mentioned that I’m constantly looking for inspiration in what I do and I’m happy to say I found one.

Black and White black and white photography blog newborn tala fuji x100

Kai’s Maternity Shoot
Not often do I get the chance to shoot my wife.  She just doesn’t want to get in front of the camera.  But this was an exemption.  The last month when our baby was still inside her womb we decided to document it. We went out and did an hour shoot just outside our new home.  No plans, no pegs, no nothing!  Plain and simple!
This was actually the first maternity shoot I did.  I’ve had offers before but I wanted it to be special so I thought I’d reserve it for my wife and our first baby.  Now that it’s all done, you can book me for this type of shoot whenever and wherever (shameless plug, I know! But a guy needs to make a living. LOL).  
I did so many profile and personality shoots in the past but I’d say this one is of the simplest yet hardest I encountered so far.  Yes! You read that right! Simple because this is my wife and there’s no pressure there.  We were just like fooling around and snapping whenever.  Hardest because it was different in a way that I have to take care of her while I was shooting.  We were on a mountain top on this shoot and she was on her 9th month.   You get the picture.  
So why outdoor?  
Initially, we’ve thought of doing a studio shoot for her maternity.  Classic black and white’s, moody portraits, hand forming a heart shape on her belly type of shot.  But then again, it was so not her!  And it was a bit cliché as well.  So I thought why not do it outdoor?  Take advantage of natural light, make it more candid and unusual.  So we went out and did our thing! The shoot lasted for an hour.  We had more shots in mind but we called it a day because the heat from the sun was killing us and as I said, I have to take care of my wife.  She was a bit exhausted and tired and I’m telling you, that’s something you don’t want to mess with.  It gets rough when you try to push it to her extremes.
I’m thinking of doing some large prints, so Tumblr people, let me know what you think is the best photo from all the set I’ve posted (http://samlim.tumblr.com/)and help me decide! I’d appreciate it!
What to print? What to print?

Kai’s Maternity Shoot

Not often do I get the chance to shoot my wife.  She just doesn’t want to get in front of the camera.  But this was an exemption.  The last month when our baby was still inside her womb we decided to document it. We went out and did an hour shoot just outside our new home.  No plans, no pegs, no nothing!  Plain and simple!

This was actually the first maternity shoot I did.  I’ve had offers before but I wanted it to be special so I thought I’d reserve it for my wife and our first baby.  Now that it’s all done, you can book me for this type of shoot whenever and wherever (shameless plug, I know! But a guy needs to make a living. LOL). 

I did so many profile and personality shoots in the past but I’d say this one is of the simplest yet hardest I encountered so far.  Yes! You read that right! Simple because this is my wife and there’s no pressure there.  We were just like fooling around and snapping whenever.  Hardest because it was different in a way that I have to take care of her while I was shooting.  We were on a mountain top on this shoot and she was on her 9th month.   You get the picture. 

So why outdoor? 

Initially, we’ve thought of doing a studio shoot for her maternity.  Classic black and white’s, moody portraits, hand forming a heart shape on her belly type of shot.  But then again, it was so not her!  And it was a bit cliché as well.  So I thought why not do it outdoor?  Take advantage of natural light, make it more candid and unusual.  So we went out and did our thing! The shoot lasted for an hour.  We had more shots in mind but we called it a day because the heat from the sun was killing us and as I said, I have to take care of my wife.  She was a bit exhausted and tired and I’m telling you, that’s something you don’t want to mess with.  It gets rough when you try to push it to her extremes.

I’m thinking of doing some large prints, so Tumblr people, let me know what you think is the best photo from all the set I’ve posted (http://samlim.tumblr.com/)and help me decide! I’d appreciate it!

What to print? What to print?

blog kai maternity shoot pregnant wife people portraits

Lets post something new today!  I know you don’t see me post any sports photo and that’s because I don’t do much sports photography.  Most of the photos I have that pertains to sports are mostly portraits of players.  But today, after my workshop, I decided to test my newly acquired lens which is the old-school bad ass Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 lens. 

I happened to pass by a football game near the place where I parked.  So I took the opportunity to take some action shots during the game.  Honestly, I don’t know how to play American Football since it’s not a common sport here in the Philippines but what the heck! I was there to shoot and that’s it! 

They say, the Nikon 80-200 2.8 lens is not a really a good lens for sports because of its slow focusing compared to the Nikon 70-200 2.8 and also it doesn’t have VR.  But while I was shooting I didn’t even notice that.  I say its still good for sport or moving subjects. The focusing speed is tolerable, its not even slow! You just have to use your brain and compensate with your settings.  Sharpness? Ofcourse its Nikon and its a pro lens, top of its class during its time so that’s not even a question! VR? Who needs it? All my lenses doesn’t have VR so I’m used to it.  If there’s not much ambient light, then I guess you just have to bump up that ISO and appreciate the grain that comes with it! It doesn’t hurt!

Conclusion: The Nikon 80-200 2.8 lens is really a superb lens. Also, for a Pro Lens, its really affordable.  Its half the price of the Nikon 70-200 2.8 but as sharp! Focusing speed of this lens for me is not an issue especially for my style of shooting.  If VR is not an issue for you, then I suggest you settle for this one.  

(Above are sample shots using this lens.  All of it are shot at f2.8)

Sport photography UP Diliman american football blog lens review nikon 80-200 nikon 80-200 f2.8 lens review sport vsco

Thoughts About Getting A New Camera

Okay, since I’m still waiting for my scheduled shoot this afternoon and I’m not doing anything productive to justify my day’s worth, let me blog about my thoughts about getting a new toy to play with. 

As all of you may have noticed, I’m selling my Nikon gear starting with my Nikon D90 Body which you can view HERE.  And after that, I’m thinking of letting go of my bad ass Nikkor 24-70 2.8 lens and my trusty nifty fifty.  The reason for that is, first, I badly need cash as of the moment due to some personal reasons that I find really really amusing! Second, is that I’m thinking of upgrading to a full frame body. 

Since my work camera and lenses are all Canons, I’m leaning towards buying a full frame canon body. Although, I’m really fond of using my nikon speedlights, so those things will definitely stay with me. I probably just have to buy new triggers.

So why not invest on the bad boy Nikon D4?

Reason for that is its PRICE! Don’t get me wrong, its a fantastic camera! Its definitely on top of its class. But the $6000 price is just too much for me.  Honestly, I don’t earn that much so I just don’t have that amount of cash to spend on a really expensive camera.  Plus, I don’t shoot sports which is mainly where this camera shines with its 10-11fps frame rate.  Tempting! But not so! I’ll probably just stay away from viewing those youtube and blog reviews. Scrap it!

What about the Nikon D800?

I was really thinking about this one.  With its 36.3mp sensor, boy that thing is a game changer! Its like a full frame dslr body with features almost the same as a medium format camera! Not to mention, it has video capabilities at par with canons. What could possibly go wrong?! Well, if someone will donate this camera to me, I would definitely take it! Haha! But come to think of it. Higher mp count means bigger file size.  I just can’t afford buying too many hard drives and backup cd’s.  Also, I don’t need all those details! First off, I don’t normally crop my images in post.  And second, I don’t do billboards. The biggest print I have to date is an A4 size print. Maybe in the future, if I’m already doing billboard projects.  But for now, I’ll stick to something much simpler!

I actually thought of buying a Nikon D700 which I think will be much more affordable compared to before since the D800 already came out. But I want to learn video and this camera just doesn’t have one.  Bummer!

Canon 5D Mark III?

Now this will be a really good choice as of the moment! I suppose it focuses better than its predecessor.  Full frame. Video capabilities. Top notch ISO performance. And I’ve heard, it really smells good too! So why not this one? Well, why not?! I’ll buy this camera without even going through all of its specs.  The only dilemma I have is again its price! Did I mention I have a lil bit of money problems lately? So if everything turns out well for me in the coming months and I got it all sorted out, I’ll probably rush to the store to buy this baby! No questions asked! 

So what now?

I’ll probably settle for this one for now.  The classic Canon 5D Mark II.  It’s gonna be much more affordable than the mark III but I’m sure its still going to perform well in aspects that are really important for me.  The only problem with this camera is its focusing really.  Yes! Apparently, all canon does. But the thing is, I normally shoot food and portraits so I can live with that.  I’ll probably just buy me a torch or a really good led light to help me with focusing and that’s it! Problem solved.  Also, the video capabilities of this camera I guess is still at par with today’s dslr’s.  So, its probably time to learn something new!  Then I’ll just upgrade next time once I have the resources to do so. Hey! Maybe by then I’m looking at switching to medium format! You never know!  


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Photo by: Sam Lim
 Some questions I might ask a passing ghost..
Ghost
When do you know you’re a ghost?Is there a cold that touches tips of toes? When death feels oddly like life,How do you know?Is it when you try to bleed,liquid rust comes out from a body weakened to death by tears,Is that how you know? Do you make friends with smoke and mist?Is there a ceremony on the day of death, a party to celebrate a life gonewith others that have passed on? The eyes of people who lookedon you with affectionare now blank. Is it the realization that you areas unnoticed in this world as the air? When, oh when, my dear departed frienddo you know you’re a ghost?

Photo by: Sam Lim

Some questions I might ask a passing ghost..

Ghost

When do you know you’re a ghost?
Is there a cold that touches tips of toes?
When death feels oddly like life,
How do you know?
Is it when you try to bleed,
liquid rust comes out
from a body weakened to death by tears,
Is that how you know?
Do you make friends with smoke and mist?
Is there a ceremony on the day of death,
a party to celebrate a life gone
with others that have passed on?
The eyes of people who looked
on you with affection
are now blank.
Is it the realization that you are
as unnoticed in this world
as the air?
When, oh when,
my dear departed friend
do you know you’re a ghost?

ghost art artwork long exposure blog poetry freeverse horror

Who’s shooting with Canons?  
Gear Update: 
Canon EOS 60d
Canon 24mm f/2.8
Canon 50mm f/1.8 
Canon 85mm f/1.8
Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM
Canon 430 EX II
I’m now officially shooting with canons.  Don’t get me wrong, I still  have my nikons with me and I’m still using it along side the canons  (best of both worlds).  My company provided the canons so I must use  them although I’m pretty much annoyed with canons ergonomics which is a  pain in the ass I don’t have a choice.  I’ve been shooting for a week  now using this new system and I’m actually impressed with its image  quality specially when using along with the 70-200 f4 and 85mm 1.8.  Noise performance is superb even at 1600 iso jpeg files.  But the  focusing is terrible compared to my nikon. The 70-200mm f4 lens is super  sharp! Almost as sharp as my nikon 24-70 2.8 or even sharper! The 85mm  is great for portraits! The bokeh is lovely and creamy as expected! The  colors of canon images are a little beat tamed compared with my nikon  but that’s no surprise.  A different system means a different  something.  
Well that’s it for now, I’ll be updating this post  soon once I get the hang of using those canons. Nikons or Canons?   Whatever camera you’re using its all basically the same so it doesn’t  matter!  

Who’s shooting with Canons? 

Gear Update:

  • Canon EOS 60d
  • Canon 24mm f/2.8
  • Canon 50mm f/1.8 
  • Canon 85mm f/1.8
  • Canon 70-200 f4L IS USM
  • Canon 430 EX II

I’m now officially shooting with canons.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have my nikons with me and I’m still using it along side the canons (best of both worlds).  My company provided the canons so I must use them although I’m pretty much annoyed with canons ergonomics which is a pain in the ass I don’t have a choice.  I’ve been shooting for a week now using this new system and I’m actually impressed with its image quality specially when using along with the 70-200 f4 and 85mm 1.8. Noise performance is superb even at 1600 iso jpeg files.  But the focusing is terrible compared to my nikon. The 70-200mm f4 lens is super sharp! Almost as sharp as my nikon 24-70 2.8 or even sharper! The 85mm is great for portraits! The bokeh is lovely and creamy as expected! The colors of canon images are a little beat tamed compared with my nikon but that’s no surprise.  A different system means a different something.  

Well that’s it for now, I’ll be updating this post soon once I get the hang of using those canons. Nikons or Canons?  Whatever camera you’re using its all basically the same so it doesn’t matter!  

canon gear blog

LOVE and EGO

The ego is very much involved in romantic love. Lack of self-worth may turn love into an unexpressed secret when there is fear of possible non-reciprocation. Loving another person can make us intensely sensitive to the regard with which we are held in the eyes of our beloved. When love is expressed but love (or respect) is not reciprocated — or not reciprocated enough — it is the ego that hurts. When the beloved forgets about us in plans & actions — or is otherwise insensitive — it is the ego that hurts. This is the awful truth that so often turns “love” into hate — the extreme bitterness & vengefulness of love spurned. Even when love does not turn to hate, the sadness & hurt of the one whose love has not been returned is a suffering of the ego — a wounding of pride. Those who most easily turn love into hate are those most at the mercy of their own ego.

Ego is also involved in the jealousy & possessiveness that often accompanies love. Competition puts the ego at risk and holds the threat that love may be lost. Marriage institutionalizes the vows of exclusivity that lovers so often seek. Marriage is a device to protect love and ego. The desire of one’s lover to possess can be flattering. And the feeling that one “possesses” the loved-one gives a feeling of security.

Jealousy arises from fear of competition. One has reason to fear competition because of lack of self-worth and/or because of lack of trust for one’s beloved. If one suspects that one’s lover will find more love in another when given the right opportunity the incentive will be high to reduce such opportunity. This has the unfortunate consequence of turning a lover into a police officer of the heart — attempting to control the behavior of one’s lover at all times. Ironically, such policing efforts are most likely to succeed when they are the least required. The more devoted the lover of the jealous partner, the greater the willingness to allay fears and to conform to dictates.

Jealousy can cause problems, but the same can be said of almost any emotion. Someone feeling jealousy may simply not be getting enough attention or be feeling unrealistically threatened by competition — things a caring lover might help alleviate. A lover who sees a lover suffering from jealousy will want to relieve the suffering. But there is never a guarantee that the problem can be solved.

- Sam Lim

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3 reasons why LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP don’t work out

You don’t know what’s coming at you when you leave someone and say “hey everything is gonna be just fine…”  Because the moment you get used to it, everything just falls apart.  You don’t even know what happened.  What went wrong… When you leave a person behind you don’t say it’s for the better.  Because what will happen after?   Have you thought of that?  Lately you’re wondering, you don’t know what to do, I guess you don’t even know what to say anymore, how to act.  You go blank.  In your head its like “……..”  You blame your partner, you get carried away.  You think of yourself.  But really?  Who left who?  Have you asked yourself lately?  Are you really blaming him / her?  Truly, do you really want to go there?  When you leave someone be sure to ask yourself first if that someone wants to be left behind.  If not, do something about it.


1.      Lack of Visual Reinforcement.  Even if you communicate over the net or even go out of your way to spend hundreds of dollars or thousands of pesos on phone bills, the fact that you don’t see each other loosens the connection between two people.  Better to talk about sweet nothings while giving each other googly eyes or seeing the reaction on your partners face when you say, I love you.  Talking over the phone doesn’t compensate for that special look or that warm smile.  Eventually with the distance there even is tendency you can’t remember certain features in your partners face.  You forget.  Then there are other faces that you see which you can talk to as well.  So it becomes a matter of preference between talking on the phone and talking to a person face to face.  I think the face to face is the obvious winner, don’t you think so?

2.      Lack of Physical Contact.  A lot of people say that love should go beyond the need for sex.  That’s a load of crap.  Maybe when the relationship becomes far deeper a simple hug will suffice but sex is a physical need of a human being.  It can be controlled but cannot be eradicated.  So here you are and there he is.  You talk over the phone but you cannot reinforce whatever it is that you feel for each other by expressing it through physical contact – holding hands, a hug, kissing and ultimately sex.  Then there’s that loneliness….. Again there are other people there… physically there…. The temptation is just great…And mind you, you’re not the only nice person in the world.  Granted you are unique, but they’re unique in their own way too….

3.      Distance makes the heart grow colder.  I mean really, calls become expensive and there are other things to do in the area that you are in.  The time factor decreases the longer you stay away from each other and with no time and presence it is but logical that you will drift apart.  Definitely, there are people who would be interested in you in your area and your partner in his area.  You move one and you adjust to his absence.  The more you adjust the more he disengages in your life and you in his.  That’s the way it works.   That’s the reality of it all.

- Sam Lim

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Something To Ponder (life in my eyes)

This is for everyone that thinks their life isn’t worth living, or feel there is nothing to live for……it’s only my view…..but I hope you understand where I’m coming from….even just for a little bit…

Love yourself, even if you feel no one else does.
Trust me, when push comes to shove sometimes, it’s only yourself that can make you press on. Don’t worry about people that think ill of you.
Most of the time they see something in you that they wish they had.
Take life as it comes; some of the best laid plans never work.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a direction. Just make sure you remember that life happens and that there are as many ups as there are downs. Don’t dwell on your failures, everyone makes mistakes. It’s the way most people end up learning to be better. Be there for your friends as much as possible. Cause when things get tough for you, they’ll remember what you did for them and return the favor. It’s o.k. to get mad at your parents, but remember, they were your age too. Try not to be so negative when something goes wrong, you can always try again until you get it right. School isn’t something to be taken lightly, though it might be boring most of the time there are some good things to get out of it. When I find out what those things are, I’ll let you know. Don’t use the word love so lightly. It’s one of the most amazing words humans have come up with. And one of the most painful things to lose.

Don’t be afraid to be soft hearted, sometimes it helps you grow. Don’t grow up too fast, immaturity is something that keeps the boundaries of serious and fun strong. Don’t worry, well don’t worry about things that are completely out of your grasp. It seems impossible but when you think about it enough it will make sense.
Your future isn’t set in stone, so don’t do something just because everyone else is doing it. Your voice is powerful, and when you speak people do listen. Just don’t let that go to your head. Don’t be so hard on the younger generation, they haven’t lived as long as you have. Sometimes they need a little help in the right direction, and not told how stupid they are. Listen, even if you aren’t interested, sometimes it’s not understanding that someone looks for, it’s just an ear to talk to. Blaze your own trail whenever possible, sometimes it just feels good to do something no one else has tried. Don’t look back too often or one time when you do you might miss something in front of you. Work towards your dreams no matter how hard it gets.
When you reach that dream the most memorable part of it will be how you got there. Listen to your grandparents, they’re a well of knowledge. Talk to people, not at them. Every once in a while stop and take a look around. You’ll notice things you didn’t even know where there. Smile, it doesn’t take much and can brighten up not only your day but everyone else’s. Remember always that family is something that you should hold close. They’ll be there to listen to your problems, cheer you up, and help if they can. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, sometimes the best said phrases are left unheard. Don’t try to be someone your not, in the end you won’t feel any better. Laugh, it’s the best part of life sometimes and can often help heal your scars. Don’t worry if you haven’t found that special someone. It’s likely while you look for them, they are looking for you. When you find each other remember how hard you looked for them. And work just as hard to keep them by your side, you’ll find they will too. Get married, or don’t get married, don’t let outside influences force you to do anything. Travel whenever possible, it’s easy to forget there’s a big world outside of your home. Enjoy the finer things in life, don’t be afraid to sing with any song you like. Dance when you want to, you don’t need to be good at it as long as it makes you feel good. You will get old, your music will be “out of date” and your style will be considered “lame”. So remember that when you comment on your parents music, your turn will come. Try not to be hurtful, sometimes when you’re frustrated with someone you can do it without knowing.

Having said that, remember when someone is angry sometimes they say some things they don’t mean.

But If it’s the only thing you take from this, just realize that it’s your life.
Do whatever you want with it, just keep in mind we effect everyone around us.
Good or bad, right or wrong, even in the smallest sense.
And no matter what anyone says.

-Sam

Black and White black and white photography blog life in my eyes people photography something to ponder