Muster date and photo-shoot with #TheColl

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon perfect for strolling the city on a photo walk, but me and my fellow IGersManila moderators #TheMods decided it’s just perfect timing for our second Muster Date with our collaborators group #TheColl, and we couldn’t hold our excitement that long, as we’re doing a themed photo-shoot with models for the first time in a studio, at the Le Petit Studio ManilaWith themed walk-on sets and a variety of creative props, Le Petit is not really that small with its beautifully designed walls that served as our backdrop for our “Noon at Ngayon” photography challenge for the day.

Thanks to @chakulit16 who took care of the venue and for inviting Ms. Diana Sadie @misscomplexicated, former Binibining Pilipinas candidate, to pose as one of our models. And we’re overwhelmed with the support we’ve been getting from Jeoffrey Solas, aside from sponsoring AVON beauty products for the make up artist and the Instagram’ers, StarStruck V finalist and GMA Network artist Enzo Pineda graced our photo-shoot upon his invitation! We owe @iamkebok and @morbeedah, both #9pmhabit visual storytellers, big time, who also joined us to support the event.

Below is a collage of my Instagram posts from the shoot, the first row “noon” while the colored snapshots are “ngayon.” Check out the rest of #TheColl posts at #MusterDate002.

image

Here’s a grid of behind-the-scene snapshots. We were awestruck by both Diana and Enzo as they gamely posed while we snapped away by groups in 2-minute intervals. Enzo even challenged us by playing around with “visualizing” emotions, wowed us by shedding tears as soon as he’s internalized his character.

image

I must say the IGersManila shirt never looked this good. Thanks to Ed Calaycay, our Community Manager, for taking the lead on this project.

image

With IGersManila #TheMods @ipetim @edcalaycay and GMA Network artist @theenzone holding the iPad with @pinkipop27’s profile (who’s based in New York). Photo courtesy of @vinaranas87.

image

With IGersManila #TheColl @ivanborlongan @ianaperalta @lizlrey @chakulit16 @reyjohnino @christofferking and #TheMods @ipetim @edcalaycay, and our sponsor Jeoffrey Solas. Not in the photo are @jaimejim @vinaranas87Photo courtesy of @vinaranas87.

Until the next snap-shooting Muster Date, keep the good vibes rolling!

And here comes VSCO CAM 2.0

The original VSCO CAM (iOS only at US$ 0.99) is what I frequently use, not really for snapshooting, but for filter edits, having a simple and straightforward process that Instagram’ers like me expect from or are used to in a mobile photography app. When Visual Supply Company announced that a major update for the app will be released soon, I didn’t know it’s going to be this whoawesome – launched as a free and standalone version! And if you happen to have the older version, you get the bonus of installing the legacy pack in VSCO CAM 2.0, cool!

image

Note though, that the previous version will no longer get updates, and you need to transfer your Image Library if you want to use them in the new version.

image

Once you’re done downloading the legacy pack to your free VSCO CAM 2.0, you’ll see the ten original presets (numbered 01 to 10) when exploring filters. No worries if you don’t have the original version as you get to pick a preset pack of your choice available for purchase in the in-app store.

image

I have to agree that VSCO CAM 2.0 offers the best mobile presets on the market (the faded black and whites are my favorite), I actually bought the Launch Bundle, that’s 16 packs or 48 presets all in all (excluding the 10 original presets) – that’s US$ 16.00 value for only US$ 5.99, available for a limited time.

image

The new image library, where you can add existing photos from your Camera Roll or propagate with new snapshots, now provides a customizable image browing experience with filters by flag or edit, and views in multiple thumbnail sizes.

image

The camera now provides increased creative control with a separate focus and exposure rings plus white balance lock, including guides for “thirds” grid and square framing.

image

It’s amazing what 48+10 photo effects and various edits can do to a single snapshot. The new VSCO CAM does complement the already highly-capable and impressive iPhone 5 camera. I can’t wait to take it for a spin this weekend and contribute to the VSCO Grid, a community focused on craft, curation and content, minus the follows and likes – well, you have Instagram for that.

If you’re still not convinced that VSCO CAM 2.0 is an essential Instagram’ing app, check out this video:

A fellow Instagram’er forwarded a link to this video, which pretty much explains what Instagram is. And when I meet people asking about IGersManila, and why Instagram (and not Facebook or Twitter), I sometimes get stumped with the question. I’d reply by playing around with the word “passion” and how Instagram’ers are not exactly photographers. And that this community of visual storytellers, from around the world, is getting bigger each day.

Instagram’ing hiccup

Yesterday, a significant number (not sure how many, but it could be a lot) of Instagram’ers were surprised to find out that their Instagram accounts have been disabled (deleted, sabotaged, hacked, or randomly yet maliciously deactivated, depends on where you read the ranting), creating quite a stir with the rumor that Instagram purged millions of accounts due to inactivity or for not using the app’s built-in camera, supposedly to address its growing spamming problems. Some IGers claim it may be due to violations of Instagram’s Terms of Use that have caused the account deletions.

Our IGersManila community account, that practically reposts and never once used the Instagram camera, with links to websites in most of its caption, was spared. While I know only a few (with legitimate profiles) who have been affected by the mass-deletion, I immediately thought of it as a glitch. True enough, while we enjoyed Instagram’ing almost spam-free for a day, affected accounts were being restored.

Today, @instagram posted this with a short explanation:

Instagram

Yesterday we experienced technical issues that caused people to be unable to access their accounts for a short period of time. We restored access as soon as the issue was brought to our attention, and we’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you for all your comments and reports to let us know about the problems you were experiencing. We’re always listening and we were able to fix this as quickly as we did because of your help. If you’re still experiencing issues accessing your account, visit help.instagram.com. Thanks again for your patience and support.

All good then. So, on with Instagram’ing fun. Keep the good vibes rolling!

Google’ing the Philippine elections

If you’re looking for a one-stop site that brings together updates on this year’s national and local elections, Google’s Philippine elections resource page is your perfect online go-to. Launched on the first week of May, it’s a collaboration between Google Philippines and broadcast networks and online news portals, now getting hits from over 50 countries around the world, from as far as Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Finland, and the Netherlands.

The site contains election-related stories from various local news sources, providing information by political party or national issue, including broadcast coverage, precincts and candidates, and an incidents map organized into tabs. The incidents map plots election-related incidents on a Google Maps map tile of the Philippines embedded in the site, providing readers with a visual idea of crisis and violence levels in areas of interest.

If you ditched the TV (like me) to go all-out online for news, then add Google’s Philippine elections resource page to your bookmarked websites, and arm yourself with valuable information when claiming your right to suffrage this May 13. Oh and don’t forget to vote wisely!

Nokia Asha 501 – the affordable smartphone

In a live video webcast of Nokia’s global product announcement in New Delhi, India, Nokia introduced the new Nokia Asha 501 and the new Nokia Asha platform. Matching the handset’s striking color and stylish design is a user interface that’s purpose-built to be fast and responsive, making the smartphone experience accessible and affordable to more people. Learn more about Nokia’s first offering from a new family of Asha smartphones here. No information yet on local availability.

Instagram’s 3.50 update

Was not surprised that Facebook’s friend-tagging feature crossed over to instagram – that Photos of You option introduced in the 3.50 update, that lets you tag people (or any Instagram account) to your photos (like you do in Facebook), organized in a new section on your profile with adjustable settings, that will be visible to the rest of the Instagram’ing public by May 16.

I’d like to think that Instagram is not replicating Facebook’s features, but judging from mixed reactions by the community, this update might be the sign of either Instagram slowly becoming like or strategically merging with Facebook. That’s something I’d dislike happening.

Instagram

Anyway, aside from the minor UI tweaks, what caught my eye after updating is that, Instagram has apparently given up its Billabong-like font (which I really like) for a new one. That familiar logo on top of the app’s home tab is now sporting a new typography. You can also see it at Instagram’s website.

UPDATE: Found out it’s Mackey Saturday who worked on the design of Instagram’s new logo, more details here.

Now let’s play around with this update to see if it’s almost like Facebook’ing. Excuse me while I check the photos tagged to me, not that I don’t want you to see me awkwardly funny.

Join the Cat@lyst revolution!

Globe Tattoo, in partnership with Global Shapers Community Manila, recently launched its corporate social responsibility initiative, the Cat@lyst, that seeks to harness creativity, energy, and the power of social media through a youth challenge, working hand-in-hand to encourage the youth to make concrete and feasible solutions to the problems of their communities.

The Cat@lyst

Filipino citizens, aged 18-30, can submit a proposal via a one-minute video entry from May 02 to 31 which meets the following criteria:

  1. Innovation – demonstrates creativity and originality
  2. Implementation Feasibility – proposal should be executable in the given timeline and proponents should demonstrate capability to mobilize stakeholders involved
  3. Impact – provides a long-lasting solution to an existing social problem

Go to catalyst.com.ph to download application forms and to learn more about this advocacy. From the entries, 15 will be shortlisted, five winners will then be chosen in June and will be awarded a PHP 200,000.00 cash grant for program development, mentorship, and ICT support.

This collaboration project aims to empower the youth with technology-based solutions that will create change and make a difference in the society, kudos to Globe Tattoo!

#IGYourVote is IGersManila’s social campaign

We’ve been running a special phoneography project – #IGYourVote – a social campaign for IGersManila, which we started last April as a daily noontime habit, a collaboration advocacy with @KandidatoAnongPlanoMo, with which we ask fellow Filipino Instagram’ers to share in Instagram their visual stories that raise issues we think this year’s electoral candidates must address.

image

Photos picked for this special project will get the chance to be featured in a campaign ad, which will be revealed soon. And starting this Sunday 05-May-2013, we’re doing #IGYourVote as a #9pmhabit, until the election day. So share your visual stories on hunger, disasters, the environment, among other issues.