A Photo and Time-lapse Journey Through the CORDILLERAS

For five days, travel photographer Angelo Mendoza and I explored the Philippine Cordilleras, going off the beaten path in search of grand but unseen views and waiting to catch the most amazing light. In the process, we had one of the most incredible travel experiences of our lives, right up there with my most memorable adventures abroad.

CORDILLERA MOUNTAIN LIGHT is the time-lapse film that came of it, also including footage shot over the past year in Benguet, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and Kalinga.

The first two episodes of our PHOTOGRAPHERS EXPLORE series documents our unforgettable journey in search of those shots.

In part 1, we explore along the Halsema Highway, following it across Benguet and into Mountain Province, fall in love with Mt. Mogao in Tadian, and eventually stumble upon the most spectacular, unforgettable sunset.

In part 2, we move on from Tadian into the lesser-known Central Cordillera of Ilocos Sur, starting with the town of Cervantes. From there, we head up and explore up and down the dramatic, steeply-rising Tagudin-Cervantes-Sabangan Road, with its majestic views of the valley in Cervantes and the mountains of Mountain Province. We visit Bessang Pass and search for viewpoints while dealing with erratic weather, and finally drive all the way down west to the coast, seeing some of the most beautiful little-known mountain roads of the Cordillera along the way.


Produced by Angelo Mendoza & Aaron Palabyab

Shot and edited by Aaron Palabyab

Still Photography by Angelo Mendoza

Aerial and time-lapse photography by Aaron Palabyab

Additional videography and time-lapse by Angelo Mendoza

Additional Still Photography by Aaron Palabyab



Back with another in-depth tutorial this week for beginners! Here's my take on the 10 Beginner Mistakes video, with instant fixes and concepts that will help you get from total newbie to pretty decent.

Feel free to share any additional tips or ask more questions in the comments!

Gear used for tutorial:

  • Sony A7RII

  • Sony Zeiss FE 55 f/1.8

  • Sony A6300

  • Benro Aero 2 Travel Angel tripod

  • Saramonic UwMic9

Music licensed via Epidemic Sound

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All About Metal Prints! What, Why, and How to Prepare Your Images

Metal prints are one of my favorite ways to display my photos! While traditional paper prints will always be my go-to for maximum consistency and archival quality, metal prints provide me with a modern and striking way to display my work at large sizes. My best and largest metal prints are currently on exhibit at WeCube Inc. and I invite everyone to come check them out, and attend my artist night on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017 at 7:30 pm.

In this video tutorial, I explain:

  • What metal prints are and how they are made
  • Reasons to consider printing on metal versus doing traditional framed paper prints
  • and how I prepare my images to get the best results for my metal prints.

My two newest 20x30 inch metal prints

For those who want to try metal prints but may be scared of the relatively higher cost, great news:  Photobook Worldwide has given me a discount code for 60% off on metal prints valid until March 31, 2017! Just create your metal prints at, find your local website (I use and input AARONPALABYAB under voucher code.

And don't forget to share your metal prints with me via e-mail or one of my social media channels!

A Smartphone Tripod Adapter That Doesn't Suck: MeFoto Sidekick 360 Review

Today I'm doing a quick review on the MeFoto Sidekick 360, which I just stumbled on in Samy's Camera in San Francisco. Doing a lot of smartphone photography content lately, using a cheap smartphone adapter has just been a pain: they're impossible to level on a Gorillapod, not usable in portrait orientation, and are just poorly built.

The Sidekick 360 makes setup and leveling a breeze and its Arca Swiss compatible base means you don't even need a tripod plate to use it - no fiddling with screws! Watch the video above for more info.

The MeFoto Sidekick 360 retails for $30 and the larger Sidekick 360 Plus retails for $35. For buyers from the Philippines, find it on Lazada here (affiliate link).

Video Review: 4K Video and Time-lapse on the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe

Quickly put this post together before leaving for San Diego for Adobe Max! In this video I share unedited sample 4K video and time-lapse footage from the Asus Zenfone 3 Deluxe, which I had the chance to try in Batanes last week courtesy of Asus Philippines. I also share my general thoughts and impressions on the quality of the footage and overall usability of the camera on the phone.

For more on the Zenfone 3's camera, check out my post on shooting the Milky Way with the Zenfone 3 Deluxe!

Shooting the Milky Way With a Mobile Phone: Testing Long Exposures on the Asus Zenfone 3

Shooting the Milky Way With a Mobile Phone: Testing Long Exposures on the Asus Zenfone 3

Just back from Batanes as part of a large group of bloggers and other media people who were there to try out the photography features of the Asus Zenfone 3 line of mobile phones, courtesy of Asus Philippines. I was there mainly as a resource person on shooting the Milky Way, and I was intrigued about the possibility of pulling off Milky Way shots using a mobile phone. How did it turn out? Find out by watching the video above and seeing the final images below!

One of the headline features of the Asus Zenfone 3's camera is its built-in manual mode that allows you to go all the way to ISO 3200 and do long exposures of up to 32 seconds. (For comparison, using the $3.99 645 Pro app on my iPhone 6, I get up to ISO 2000 and a 1/2 second exposure at most, on f2.2.) Combined with its large aperture f/2.0 Largan lens, this would theoretically add up to the standard exposure settings for a wide angle Milky Way shot. For this post, I'm focusing exclusively on shooting the night sky and the Milky Way, saving my overall thoughts on the photography and video features of the Zenfone 3 for a post in the coming week.

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