Nikon Workshop with Gab Mejia and Mike Sia

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Image credits: Nikon Philippines

Hello, bitlanders! Here I am again for another sequence of the activity James and I joined yesterday, Saturday at SM Trade Hall with Nikon and Colours Photo.

The blog prior has some overview of what this event was. You may want to read the blog further in the below link: Nikon Z7 Goes to Cebu

In that blog, I also talked about the new Nikon mirrorless full frame camera in the form of Nikon Z7 and Z6. The characteristics and other information of these two cameras were stated in the blog above so, you might want to check that out.

Video credits: Adam Mullins Photography via YouTube

Today's blog is more about the things that had occurred after the introduction to Nikon Z6 and Z7 which were again inspiring and educational in their own. For now, I am sharing the second part which was the talk given by Gab Mejia.

Gab Mejia - On The Climb : One Story, One Summit, One World.


Image credits: bitLanders Society via Facebook

This young man had me thinking what I have been doing with my life in the past 30 years. At the age of 21, he had been to different parts of the world, even to the ends of the Earth, in the remote sections and to the tip of some of the mountains of the country and the world.

He had won an international photography competition which paved his way to achieve far greater success in his life most especially when he was given an all-expense paid trip to Patagonia which he said had severely changed his life and his advocacies.


Image credits: choosephilippines

Currently, Gab Mejia is a still a student at the University of the Philippines in Manila and at the same time working for different projects given as opportunities for him to improve on his craft as well as pursue his advocacy in helping the environment and just be a good steward to nature.

His latest project was about the Tamaraws. He shared a video documentation which he had taken videos of the elusive and severely extinct animal which is endemic here in the country specifically in the island of Mindoro. It is a Philippines' pride and of something that we all as Filipinos ought to be proud of.


Image credits: On-the-climb

As Gab Mejia showed his video and gave his take away words upon the changing world, I could literally see how passionate he is in this journey he is taking. He is totally on a roll and he had been very persistent in this work and is not holding down. He continues to climb every mountain and every remote area of the country and even to the other parts of the world.

Gab Mejia and Nikon Z7


Image credits: bitLanders Society via Facebook

Gab then testified how he had used his D3300 during all his other previous trips and the total difference when he used the new Z7. With the mirrorless camera's lightweight body, it was evident that taking photos and videos is easier. Its weather sealed body was a blessing for him as it has been raining and raining the entire time. He thought he the unit will be damaged by the end of the trip and he won't be able to come up with footages but surprisingly, it survived and even delivered way better than what he had expected!

He still uses his baby, his first Nikon camera but also uses the new mirrorless most especially when traveling to remote parts of the country.

Video credits: on-the-climb

I can't stress much how I adore this young man. He is still 21 but he sure had experienced more and had also faced the reality of life that our time in this world is short and that we have to do what really matters most instead of wasting our time in the things which are not worthwhile.

Mike Sia Lifestyle Portrait and Demo Shoot Workshop

Next in the line of activities was the workshop by Mr. Mike Sia, a lifestyle photographer who is an official Nikon instructor. Coming from Cagayan De Oro, he has no issue with communicating with us because he speaks pure Bisaya as well.


Image credits: bitLanders Society via Facebook

Now during his talk, he shared several things about lighting, composition, angle, profiling, and cropping. I learned a lot most especially with lighting. I like the way he would instruct the model who was hired by Colours Photo for that specific shoot. He makes the model very comfortable with the photographer, with him most especially as well as shoots with good and proper composition. However, I had a little problem with some of his "green jokes", you know what I mean.

Well, I can't blame him, he might want to have something that the audience can relate to and I was just ignoring those parts during the workshop.


Image credits: bitLanders Society via Facebook

Perhaps what I can take away from that two hour photography demo was that as a photographer, one should make every way to get the model to chill, relax and just be comfortable during the shoot most especially that this was a lifestyle type of photography, we have to get the personality of the person out and away into the pictures.


Image credits: mikesiaofficial

Mr. Mike Sia is also a wedding photographer, so he shared his style of shooting, how he would be able to take photos of certain poses and angles without taking much time. During the workshop, he instructs the photographers to find where is the dominant light and that is the key to properly taking photos. As long as you got good lighting, you are well. That, I believe is really the most important thing that I must learn my way.

Q and A Portion

There was a question and answer portion too afterward where all those who would ask will get a freebie from Nikon. I personally asked him about why he shoot JPEG instead of RAW. His answer was that he shoots JPEG 90% of the time because he makes sure that he has the perfect shoot in camera so he doesn't have to take time during the post process most especially during weddings.


Image credits: bitLanders Society via Facebook

Another question was about the number gears he has during wedding events. He has five, three camera bodies, one drone, and a mobile phone, specifically a Huawei P20 PRO.

Wrap Up

After the four-hour event was the presentation of the certificate of appreciation to the key speakers, the attendees also had the chance to get some photographs with the speakers and a group photo opportunity as well!


Image credits: Mike Sia

Most importantly, we got the chance to use the Nikon Z7 and Z6 mirrorless cameras! It was its first time to be displayed here in Cebu City and we were the lucky ones who were able to get a hand of them. Currently, they are still very expensive, I would go broke if I buy one but it was all worth spending time that Saturday afternoon.

James and I learned a lot that we sure can apply, Gab Mejia sure had inspired and encouraged the two of us to practice more and explore our country and even dream to go to other places we hardly could imagine. Life is short, we have to do what really matters and live not only in one place!


About the author:
Jean Beltran-Figues is a photography and calligrpahy enthusiast.
A traveler who wants to promote her beloved country, the Philippines.

About the author


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