March 31, 2009

This Week's Photoshop: Image Focus

Photos with great effects really makes our jaw drop. we would think the photographer used a high tech camera with very good lens.

We would think that with these cameras, they can take crisper, sharper images. But today,with the help of Adobe Photoshop, we can turn our ordinary pictures into jaw-dropping ones, like one of those photos we admire.

One of the popular phot effect used today is focus enhancement, in which the photo backgroud is defocused, so that it draws attention to the portrait. Today I will share you five simple steps on how to apply this effect into your image.

I will use a photo of one of my favorite Filipina singer, Liezel Garcia(credits to LiezelGarcia Online, thanks guys!). And now, for the first step!

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STEP ONE: Open your image in Photoshop. In the Cahnnels panel, Option-click the Create New Channel icon.
In the new channel dialog that pops up, name your channel, click on the Selected Areas to set Color Indicates, then click OK.
Next,click the empty checkbox to the left of the RGB channel to see the image through the mask.

STEP TWO: Press D to set the Foreground and Background color to default(black and white). Choose Brush tool(B) and select a soft brush from the
Brush Preset Picker in the Options bar, and
paint over your subject. As you can see, I used the brush to paint that red color over Liezel. The painted area will
be the one to remain focused. You can adjust the brush size using Right and Left bracket keys.

STEP THREE: After painting, return to Layers panel. Duplicate your image(Background Layer) by pressing(Ctrl-J), and then choose Blur>Lens Blur from the Filter menu.

STEP FOUR: In the Lens Blur dialog, go to the Depth Map section, and click on the Source drop-down menu and choo
se the channel you created.

STEP FIVE: Allow the filter to update and study the effect before adjusting any additional sliders. If too much of the image
is blurred, it is best to Cancel and return to the Alpha Channel. This way, you can paint in black to protect more of the image or with white to
subtract from the channel. Then reapply the Lens Blur to continue.

And you're done! Simply follow these steps to achieve the in-focus effect for your image, without using any high tech camera equipment!

Photo Credit: Liezel Garcia Online
Additional Source: Photoshop User

March 26, 2009

Children's Rehabilitation Center

The Children's Rehabilitation Center(CRC) is a non-profit, non-government organization that serves children affected by state violence. It primarily deals with helping children overcome the psychological effects of war, and children victims of abuse by providing psychosocial therapy, counselling, nutritional, medicine, legal, and educational services. Since 1995, CRC has been settingup community-based programs to serve far-flung areas where there is military presence and and reported cases of human right vilation. in the last five years, CRC has documented more than 800 incidents of human rights violations, affecting some 215, 233 children.

Since the outreach program here in Ilocos has just started, any individual or group can share, impart, or do any of the following:

Donate such as toys, books, art materials, clothes, educational materials, medicine and other material and financial assistance to children victims of state violence and abuse, and;

Donate library materials in the field of childcare, therapy work, community work, and organizing human rights.

For inquiries and donations, don't hesitate to contact me:

Mobile: +63905-266-4866

Visit the website at

Maraming Salamat Po!

March 25, 2009

The Effective Project Proposal, Part II

Well, after months since the first part, I now have the third and final part of our Project Proposal series. Now I am going to share to you the points on how to make your project proposal standout from others. Take time to read the following, especially if you are planning to make one.

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1. Write Clearly. Proposal reviewers usually have to read dozens of proposals in a shortperiod. They appreciate direct statements; they are exasperated bt cleverness and needlessrepitition. If you take five pages to say what can be said adquately in one, reviewers willremember your proposal for other than positive reasons.

2. Be Logical and Balanced. The proposal should flow and conclusions reached, not jumpedat. It means that the proposal shows internal consistency. In the 'rationale' the basis/needfor the project is explained and project components identified. The components and strategywill lead to the attainment of objectives through the project management set up and budgetoutlay. external factors have been taken into consideration. The length of sections may wellreflect your assessment of their importance.

3. Be specific. Specify numbers, sequences, outcomes as appropriate. Include time/flow charts,allowing for start-up and phase-out of your project.

4. Be thorough. Especially in detailing programme administration, managemet and monitoring.donors like to know that their money is going to conscientious and capable agencies.

5. Make propsal attractive to read. put in a lot of spaces, and make clear headings. Use theroman numerical System or ABC for identifying major sequence of your proposal. you might includepictures as well.

6. Don't philosophize. A proposal for the Food Secutiry and Nutrition Improvement Programme is noplace for a speech on hunger in the Third world. Know the difference between a proposal for fundingand a polemic.

7. Don't assume that reviewers know the problem or programme. Given the mix of possible readers,it makes ense to avoid unsupported assumptions, and to specify and document the existence of needsto be met and the capacity of your programme to meet them. the best way to handle jargon andspecialized acronyms, which arise among old hands with various programme details, is to eliminatethem- at least in proposals.

8. Don't include surprises. Examples are personnel who show up in an organizational chart or budget,but are not mentioned in the proposal narrative. Or charges in budget, with no prior referencesas to purpose or necessity. A good proposal answers questions, does not raise them.

9. End the proposal with an impact. Summarize the arguments for the project in one last paragraph.Formulate a catchy closing sentence, one that would convince the funding agency to consideryour proposal.

Source: Bakwit, Bubong, Binhi, Bayanihan: Project Development Monitopring and Evaluation inDisaster Situations by Citizen's Disaster Response Center

March 12, 2009

Panagbenga 2009: Stress, Pics, and Direk Jay.

I can say that the recently concluded Session Road in Bloom was a success. Though it gave us headaches and made us vampires, we're still happy to be part of this activity. I met some new friends, bonded with my Dad for a few days,a nd even met a fello blogger- well, almost.

I was Sunday night, March 1, 2009. After setting up the booth, we went to Jack's for dinner. And after a hearty meal, I decide to went outside to get some fresh air. He was standing about a meter away from me. Continue Reading this Entry..Wearing gray long sleeves, he was holding a paper looking down Session Road as if he was waiting for someone. I stared at him, and I thought he looked at me too. He looked so familiar to me. And when a woman approached him and walked away, it was only then I realized that that man standing beside me is no other than indie film director and fellow blogger Jay Altarejos. Well Direk Jay films include Ang Lihim ni Antonio and my favorite Ang Lalaki sa Parola. Aw, I should have approaced him and said hello, I thought.

Tuesday morning, I posted a comment on his blog, asking if he was in Baguio last Sunday. And he immediately replied back:


yeah, i was there and was wearing gray long sleeves. sayang, we could have said hellos.
anyways, i'll post if ever i'm going there again.
thanks for dropping by.

After the festival, we went to La Trinidad, Benguet to visit the trade fair for the annual Strawberry Festival. It was fun looking at the products made from this delicious fruit(actually its a fake fruit). among these products were: Strawberry dressing, shake, pies and other pastries, ice cream, and of course, soap. Unfortunately, I was not able to take some photos(the digicam is not working), so we just enjoyed the moment looking at the products.

As I promised, here are some pics I took during Panagbenga 2009. Some were 'ugly' shots but still I hope you'll like it.

I was trying to pload the video for the fireworks display, but the net connection is not good, so I will just post it next time.

March 10, 2009


We just got home from Baguio. At last, after a stressful week, we are back to normal mode. Hay, it was great spending a week in the City of Pines. But to tell you the truth, its not the old Baguio I used to know when I was a kid. These days heavy traffic was a big problem of the city, and of course population increase and the last one, garbage problem.
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Well I just hope the city government could make an immediate action about these problems, and also the residents of the city could double their effort more in making the city clean and maintaining Baguio as the summer capital of the Philippines.

Anyway, the much awaited Baguio pics will be out soon. Watch out for it!