Today we take the #FreedomPledge

We’re supporting MTV Exit’s #FreedomPledge campaign and today we’ll be at Kalayaan, a free public screening of MTV Exit’s various feature films and documentaries such as “Jason Mraz Live in Myanmar” and “Butterfly” an original Korean drama. We’re also running a special #9pmhabit at IGersManila Philippines to encourage our community of Filipino Instagram’ers and Phoneographers to use Instagram in sharing visual stories that help raise awareness about the global crime of modern day slavery.

If knowledge is freedom then we all have the power to end modern slavery.

And VSCO Cam goes Android

Its website proclaims VSCO Cam as “the standard” and Instagram’ers and Phoneographers who take their mobile photography seriously can only agree. The app pretty much got you covered: from the straightforward camera and image tweaking tools, to the creative filters or presets, and its own network of VSCO goodness via the Grid. It recently broke its iOS-only iteration with its release of VSCO Cam for Android, that will run on most Android devices with version 4.0 up, available now as a free download from Google Play.

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I borrowed my son’s Samsung Galaxy Duos (Android 4.0.4) to download and explore the app, and my initial impression is that there’s almost no difference to its iOS counterpart. VSCO Cam for Android comes preloaded with 10 presets and you can add more via purchase from the in-app store.

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VSCO Cam is a personal favorite as it is one of my essential apps for Instagram’ing and phoneography. The familiar interface is clean and straightforward as usual and it almost felt like using VSCO Cam on an iOS device.

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If you’re on Android and have been waiting for a phoneography app that is equally powerful as its iOS flavor, then check out VSCO Cam, it’s perfect for the snap-filter-share workflow, and should get you going with your creative visual storytelling.

#KTGVR

IGersManila’s new website

Was happy with Tumblr, but realized because it’s a microblogging platform, it simply lacked the flexibility we need for bringing our online presence to the next level. And so I purchased a hosting account, experimented first with this website, installed WordPress which is by the way too easy, played around with several themes, figured into a few errors, imported content from previous blogs via plugins, got the hang of it, then decided to go the self-hosted WordPress path for IGersManila, even convinced fellow moderator EdCalaycay.com to do the same.

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Through this website, we aim to provide content essential to Instagram’ing and phoneography in general. It’s a work in progress and we’re hoping to go full-blast before the year ends. And we’ll soon open it for writing collaboration, what we at IGersManila are really excited about.

#KTGVR

Offline from Instagram’ing

Yesterday, we went offline with IGersManila, for the very first time. While we’re overwhelmed with the support we’re getting from around the world, we all know more help is needed to make sure relief efforts are directed to those affected by super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. We have been doing the #9pmhabit daily visual storytelling habit, one of the longest photo challenges in Instagram, since 2011 and the only day we missed is ironically the 2012 social media day celebration, when Instagram went down in mass power outage.

And so here’s hoping after this offline day, our community of Instagram’ers and Phoneographers, will find time to put down our mobile devices, and do offline activities, such as the much needed support for relief efforts, in any which way we can.

At the Mobile Festival 2013

I’m usually 7:00am pronto at the office every Monday, that’s because I chose a car plate number banned until 7:00pm in Makati City every first day of the workweek, the same reason that pushes me to be early at work and avoid missing the almost always busy Mondays. But yesterday I found myself walking the whole stretch of SM Mall of Asia at the break of dawn to look for an open coffee shop, as I need to be wide awake for what seems to be the longest conference I’ll ever join – the first Mobile Festival in the Philippines at the SMX Convention Center, with 5 plenary programs that are supposed to end past my car coding hours. Insightful topics are to be presented by speakers from here and abroad, known for their expertise and contributions to mobile and a variety of industries.

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I’m actually enrolled at the Mobile Marketing Academy, that instantly registered me to this event, and I sure am glad to have joined. Saw familiar faces and got to talk to some business owners who seem to be late in the game or just starting but are embracing mobile anyway. There’s this consensus on the floor that indeed, mobile technologies have changed the way consumers engage with brands, that before deciding on a purchase, the typically-pocketable device has become an automatic go-to for information that can greatly influence the buying decision. And that companies must be ready to use mobile for making customer engagement more productive, convenient, and instant.

Aside from the overwhelming learning sessions, the highlight of the conference is actually “The Pitch” with which our Web Marketing Officer Pauline “Petim” Maminta (and fellow moderator for IGersManila), is a contestant and who eventually won with her Team Saucy, who pitched a seemingly simple app/service idea that got the judges scoring high for its straightforward presentation and high practicability for McDonald’s 30-minute delivery.

I can’t wait to get all these mobile ideas rolling for the projects and campaigns I’m involved with, now back to work. Too bad, I didn’t find any coffee shop that opens that early at MOA, but hey I managed to stay awake in that 7:00am to 7:00pm ordeal.

Instagram’ing soon on a Windows Phone

Sorry BlackBerry, but it looks like Nokia beat you to the queue, as Instagram is officially releasing “in the coming weeks” a version of the hugely popular photo-sharing app for the Windows Phone mobile platform. This great news was somehow overshadowed by Apple’s October 22 iPad event, but is considered to be a big deal anyway as this is seen as a jumpstart to encourage other application developers to support Windows Phone. After Instagram, it’s expected that photo filters and video editing apps will follow suit with official releases.

As for Nokia, the clamor via photography app and hashtag probably worked, and its Lumia line will greatly benefit from this development, and should convince Instagram’ers and phoneographers looking for more device choices. We’re of course excited to welcome Windows Phone users to our Instagram’ing community. And here’s hoping BlackBerry can work things out and catch up.

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And this will be my excuse for falling in love with Nokia again, by way of its latest powerful duo: the Nokia Lumia 925 or 1020 (pictured above), as I’m sure either smartphone won’t fall short when pitted against its iOS and Android device counterparts, at least in terms of phoneography features.

Source: The Verge | Photo: Nokia Philippines

Walking to #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer

Waking up 3am on a Sunday is quite a challenge for me yet I jumped out of bed and was ready to go in record time, knowing this sort of small sacrifice will mean something big for a good cause. I’m not really ready physically, but I joined anyway, as I really wanted to be there at #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer, a walk & run event by Avon Philippines held October 13 at the SM Mall of Asia Open Parking, which also serves as the culminating theme for @IGersManila’s week-long #9pmhabit, in support of the breast cancer awareness month (BCAM).

The weekend was almost spoiled by typhoon Santi, which thankfully was on the way out of PAR by Saturday, while the morning after is still somewhat wet, the cool air seem to signal the perfect time for running and walking. And after over an hour via the traffic-less EDSA, failing to catch-up-nap in the car, it was still dark but I was there at the venue in time for the walk.

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This is the panoramic shot of the stage (above), with the huge audience gamely participating in the warm-up exercise that opened the program and cheered on to welcome the hosts (from Unang Hirit GMA7) and special guests.

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I was later joined by fellow IGersManila moderators @EdCalaycay and @iPetim with Instagram’ers @NagaRyan and @ReyJohnino. It’s the golden hour, we of course started snapping photos and videos of the activities as soon as the morning sun showed its presence. MOA was like “in the pink of advocacy.”

We actually enjoyed the walk, snapping photos of the cheerful crowd and a variety of street subjects as well. We’re really proud to have been a part of this #DoSomethingBeautiful advocacy, that awesome feeling of walking together for a good cause, to help spread breast cancer awareness. Good vibes through and through!

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And as promised by Avon Philippines, we Instagram’ers were given a quick photo-op with Solenn Heussaff, ambassador for the Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC) campaign, making it even more an unforgettable experience.

All photos snapped with iPhone 5; collage using Diptic app. Group shot with Solenn Heussaff courtesy of @NagaRyan.

Moving on with #LetsSpeakApp2 at Commune PH

It’s the second of our 3-part LetsSpeakApp talk series for IGersManila, and we’re so thankful to have been generously accommodated by Ros Juan of Commune PH, the perfect venue for this rather intimate gathering of Instagram’ers who answered to our #iCoss invite, as this time we focused on apps for video snapping and editing, thus the theme “moving on.”

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The past workdays were engrossing for me, and I haven’t been able to snap-shoot and post to Instagram lately, so I asked fellow moderators @iPetim and @EdCalaycay to do the talk. They of course did a great job of presenting video apps they actually use. What would usually take an hour or so for stitching videos, putting text, adding effects and transitions, as well as matching background music, can now be done in a few minutes, and all via a smartphone. While most video apps would claim to be “easy and instant” following on our snap-filter-share workflow, the learning curve might be a bit of a challenge at first, but the key to enjoying and improving your mobile videography skills is “patience.”

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Because Commune PH is a cafe + bar, well-snapped in Instagram with its relaxed setting and for serving coffee with latte art of cute animals, Instagram’ers were treated to a quick coffee making workshop with Ros Juan and a latte art demo by chief barista JV, as they snap photos and videos to put the apps to the test. We then gave away an Olloclip and Boostcase (both for iPhone 5) courtesy of Beyond The Box, to two of the most creative tagged Instagram posts especially picked by Ros Juan, concluding the #LetsSpeakApp2 meet-up with more snapshots.

Please support Commune PH by following on Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned this November 2013 for #LetsSpeakApp3 as we prepare to close the year with whoawesome activities.

All photos snapped with iPhone 5; collage using Diptic app.

Let’s #DoSomethingBeautiful on Instagram

IGersManila is advocating Breast Cancer Awareness Month #BCAM with its #DoSomethingBeautiful #9pmhabit this week, in partnership with Avon Philippines, one of the largest corporate supporters of breast cancer awareness.

Starting today until 13-October-2013, we ask you to join us on Instagram in sharing visual stories with themes relevant to this advocacy. If your Instagram post is a #PhotoPick, you’ll get an Avon Philippines #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer T-shirt, which donates 20 pesos to the PGH Breast Cancer Center and select provincial hospitals, and also serves as your invitation to attend the #DoSomethingBeautiful Against Breast Cancer Walk & Run event at SM MOA on October 13. You also get to meet and greet (and of course snap photos with) Solenn Heussaff. More than the good vibes, that’s Instagram’ing for a great cause!

Follow @IGersManila and @AvonPH on Instagram. Go to IGersManila’s blog for the full mechanics. For details of the event, visit avon.com.ph or follow Avon Philippines on Facebook.

#Ambienture

I was experimenting on snapping portrait shots with my iPhone 5 the other night, when the fluorescent bulb in our room got busted, needing an instant fix I thought of using my iPad 4 as my only ambient lighting, as I prefer portraiture with shadows and silhouettes, and like to play around with textured noir filters that I can only get from the PictureShow app. Thus my #Ambienture photo series on Instagram – portraiture using your iPhone/iPad/iPod as single key lighting – which you can of course easily move around or ask your model to hold, which is what I did, for creative illumination and to focus a certain angle, in composing the intended exposure.

I needn’t go far to jumpstart this project, as you can see in the gallery, the first batch of #Ambienture was of my family and then of fellow Instagram’ers. If you’re into Instagram’ing, feel free to tag your iDevice-illuminated portrait shots. All you need is a room without lights, two Apple devices (any mobile device on other platforms actually, such as Android and Windows Phone) one for lighting and the other for snapping photos.

Can’t wait to snap more #Ambienture! Join us as we’re having the 2nd Philippine Instagram Exhibit this November 2013, see the full mechanics here. Keep the good vibes rolling!