Sunday, December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas

As you all know by now, Christmas came early to me in the form of my first Feature Film "Dagsin." Please forgive me if I have not been updating this blog as often as I should these past few months, but I have been really busy...
Me with my new toy.
It has been a wild roller-coaster ride so far, but Anne (Producer) and I have somehow managed to keep our ship afloat. "Dagsin" has been plagued with all kinds of problems from the onset of Preproduction and each shooting day has been challenging-- Two of our actors have been ill and hospitalized, another decided to drop out in the middle of filming, the local government threatened to shut our production down more than once, we had to iron out a land ownership dispute situation for another location, and on top of all that, we had to fire someone from our team for gross misconduct and anomalies regarding the budget-- these are just the major ones! Talk about Murphy's Law... We are taking this all in stride because it has always been our goal to deliver the best work we can, once we set out to execute a project!
I am very grateful that I have finally been given the opportunity to finally make my movie and I thank God everyday for this blessing. I love making movies and I plan to keep doing it for as long as I can! 
I have not forgotten that this is also a photography blog, despite my other interests. So I am posting some of my still-photo work in the movie. I just realized recently that it is hard to be a director, cinematographer and photographer all at the same time, so I have recruited a second DP as well as a BTS photographer in "Dagsin" to complement my work.
Here are two promotional photographs I shot for "Dagsin," which I am giving to the actors as Christmas gifts:
Tommy Abuel, Lotlot De Leon and Sue Prado for Dagsin
Alex Diaz, Janine Gutierrez and Benjamin Alves for Dagsin

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Veteran Actor Cast in Dagsin

...with veteran stage and screen actor Tommy Abuel

(reprinted from
The Dagsin family is very proud and happy to welcome multi-award winning veteran stage and screen actor Tommy Abuel in the lead role of Justino.
An actor with a long and illustrious career in both Theater and Cinema, Mr. Abuel is known as an "actor's actor," a consummate artist who internalizes his characters and brings them to life in the most creative way. He has been nominated for his work consistently since he began working in 1973 (has won for both stage and screen), and has worked with some of the country's most singularly artistic Film Directors including Lino Brocka, Ismael Bernal and Mike De Leon.

--Photo by Anne Prado-Magadia

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Dagsin is Online

My feature film project, Dagsin (Gravity), is now online!
Please visit our Facebook fan page at and our Website/Blog at to get the latest information, announcements and updates regarding the movie.
Initial Poster Mock-up

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

9th Generation - IPhone 6s & 6s Plus

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
It's that time of year again when we, hardcore IPhone fans, welcome the newest incarnation of our favorite gadget. A few hours ago, Apple's CEO Tim Cook unveiled the 9th generation of its popular smart phone in California-- the IPhone 6s and its larger sibling the 6s Plus. Tim referred to the new models as "the most advanced smartphones in the world."
Among its newest features are the upgraded 12 megapixel camera and a more advanced touch-screen capability called 3D-touch. Although a lot of people have already scrapped buying traditional cameras in favor of their cell phone cameras for years now, with the 6s' 12 megapixels sensor, the IPhone has finally crossed and complied with the technical specs. of a good consumer grade point and shoot camera. The larger sensor is now 4K video capable and offers optical image stabilization (on the 6s Plus). It also has superior low-light performance (temporal and special noise reduction) compared to past models as well as better color accuracy and tonal performance. The front facing camera is now capable of taking 1080p video and 5 megapixel stills with support for slow-motion video, "selfie panoramas" and a "True Tone Flash" on the display that matches the ambient light for true to life color and natural-looking skin tones (the Retina Flash allows the display to flash 3 times brighter than usual). To enhance the 6s' photo taking capabilities, Apple has also added "Live Photos," 12 megapixel photos with motion (short video clip) and sound snippet that result in more dynamic photos.
The 6s and 6s Plus comes in 4 metallic colors
The next generation multi-touch technology called "3D Touch," offers enhanced pressure sensitivity as well as feedback. Aside from the more familiar touch-screen gestures like tap, swipe and pinch, Apple has added peek and pop. According to the literature, 3D Touch "lets you do the things you do often faster and with fewer steps. Many of the actions can even be done with a single press, right from the Home screen. The improved multi-touch capability will also deepen the experience of your favorite apps and games."
The new A9 chip is not only faster, it is also a capable gaming console with robust graphic performance. A third-generation chip with a 64-bit architecture, it has a 70% improved CPU performance and a 90% boosted graphic performance from the previous model. The M9 motion coprocessor is integrated directly into the A9 chip which results in better battery life, despite the improvement in power. The 6s supports 23 LTE bands with LTE Advance* and improved Wi-Fi, doubling its previous band speed.
Made from 7000 series aluminum used in the aerospace industry and the most durable cover glass (dual ion-exchange process) on any smartphone now available on the market, Apple has reinforced the new models to eliminate the fragility issues seen on the IPhone 6 Plus. Aside from the gold, silver and space grey, the 6s also comes in rose gold. Both models will be available in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB configurations.
Although I am really excited about the camera improvements, I will personally be passing on this version, only because I have found that skipping a generation is the best way to upgrade our IPhones within the family. I upgraded to the 6 Plus last year (and so did my daughter), so it is my wife (and my son's) turn to get the 6s this year. It just goes to show that this gadget/tool has become such an essential part of our lives, that it has become a permanent item on our yearly  family budget. 
--Photos from 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Feature Film Project Gets Into Cinemalaya

Last Saturday, August 15, 2015, the Cinemalaya Foundation finally announced the 10 lucky finalist for its 2016 Main Competition on Full-length Features, during the 2015 Festival Awards Night at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Cinemalaya is considered to be the most prestigious Independent Film Festival in the Philippines, so film fans from all over the country as well as the Press enthusiastically welcomed the 10 projects that were chosen from an original pool of more than 150 submissions. I am ecstatic to announce that "Dagsin" (Gravity), my first Full-length Feature project, is among the lucky ten.
The finalist with Foundation Pres. Laurice Guillen and Festival Head Mel Chionglo
With its goal to promote and develop the Independent Film Industry of the Philippines,  the Cinemalaya Film Festival is arguably the most anticipated yearly independent film competition (our version of Sundance or Cannes) in the Philippines. In the last ten years of its existence, the festival has given birth to most of the country's up-and-coming filmmakers, ushering forth the digital age of Philippine Cinema widely known as "The Philippine New Wave." The festival aims to encourage "works that boldly articulate and freely interpret the Filipino experience with fresh insight and artistic integrity," and Cinemalaya has consistently delivered on this promise by having 5 films, from its ten year roster, be nominated by the Film Academy of the Philippines to represent the country for the annual Academy Awards' (Oscars) Best Foreign-Language film category.
The directors (and some writers) of the 10 Feature Films for 2016

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #39

This week's theme: CHILDHOOD FANTASIES

These are not posed. I had to wait a year to complete this set of three, since the elements in the photographs all happened by chance. I did not go around stalking children with this theme in mind, it was all luck. The photos are testaments to the wonderful magic that can happen when you become totally present and aware of everything that is happening around you. Serendipitous moments like these are what keeps me shooting "Street."    

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"The Princess and the Frog" Singapore
"Mirror Mirror..."
This will be my last installment of "Weekly Street Photos" for awhile, since my first full-length feature movie "Dagsin" (Gravity) was just green-lighted for production, and I will be super busy. Although there would be less photography entries maybe until the end of this year, it will be replaced by updates on our production for "Dagsin." Thank you for your support, and salamat sa Maykapal! 

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #38

This week's theme: RANDOM GROUP SHOTS

Group shots,  particularly in street photography, are some of the hardest photos to shoot. Even in the studio, taking photographs of people in groups must be timed precisely so that each person will be in their proper position within the frame, and their individual expressions captured with everyone's eyes (ideally) open. Imagine doing all that in a split second out on the "street"... It is short of miraculous!  Here are a few examples of random group shots I came up with :)    

(Click on Photos for better viewing)

"Talking Heads"
"Levels Of Vision"
--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #37


Large graphic Ads are the easiest elements to juxtapose in "Street" photography, specially in urban spaces. In fact, a lot of photographers would actually wait in front of a particular image (or location) until something or someone walks into their shot. Although this strategy is quite effective and has been used by a lot of "Street Photography" Masters including Henri Cartier-Bresson; I prefer to run into my images synchronously, never spending more than a minute to compose and take my shot before walking on to the next subject, since I do "Street Photography" mainly as a form of Zen meditation.  Here are three  photos I captured serendipitously, incorporating graphic Ads.   

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"I Feel You Bro"
"The Watcher Watching" Singapore
"Instant Family"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #36

This week's theme: SILHOUETTE

Photographing silhouette is an imaging technique commonly used by most photographers, because it is fairly easy to do. But it is also one of the most stunningly graphic ways we can create photos, particularly in Black & White. Here are three examples: two high-contrast (1 dark, 1 light) and one low-contrast, I shot recently.   

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Into The Light" Singapore
"Bars And Wires"

"The Edge Of Darkness" Los Angeles, USA

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #35


I thought it would be appropriate to restart my weekly street posts with photos from my recent trip to Singapore. My children were still on Summer Vacation, so my wife and I decided to take the family to the Lion City for a week.
Despite my desperate need for R&R, I took my cameras with me (to my wife's chagrin)-- fearing that I will regret not having them around when the urge to shoot arises. I'm glad I did, because I came back with tons of pictures. It's a good thing my Fujis are so compact that I was able to carry my travel kit (2 bodies, 4 lenses) around in a photo-vest or in my small  camera bag.
Among the many things that fascinated me when I was walking around Singapore were the photographers I met on the streets. I guess the city is situated in such a compact area that you are bound to run into a fellow camera bug wherever you go. Here are some of the Pros I bumped into...
(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Cosplay Shooter"

"Catalogue Shoot"

"Memories By The Bay"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #34

This week's theme: ASKALS

Before I go on my 3 week vacation (with my kids), I want to leave you with one last set of photos...
When you walk on the streets of Metro-Manila you will surely come across an Askal (short for Asong Kalye: street dog or native mongrel). Often maligned and maltreated (sometimes even butchered as a delicacy), our native 'Dingos' are none the less considered to be the quintessential local symbol for the 'bad-ass' outsider or rebel. Our National Football Team proudly carries their name. So next time you meet one, throw him a bone, because you just came across a proud 'Pinoy!'  

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Scraps Of Light"
"Hungry Like A Wolf"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #33

This week's theme: OVERHEAD SHOT 2 (Color)

Part 2 of last week's theme. I find the "Bird's Eye-View" of the world refreshing. It gives us a detached 'godlike' view of humanity from above, where we can observe ourselves more objectively. Here are a few some colored examples... 

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Follow The Leader"
"Wi-Fi Central"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #32

This week's theme: OVERHEAD SHOT

I love taking pictures from above to punctuate my shooting routine. Viewing my subject overhead automatically refreshes my point of view and affords me a momentary pause to reassess my perspective on most photo projects I do. Here are a few examples in Black & White...   
(Click on Photos for better viewing)

"Human Ant Farm"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Friday, April 10, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #31

This week's theme: EASTER SUNDAY

Easter Sunday is a big day of celebration for Filipino families. Most traditional (elderly) Filipino Catholics literally believe that Jesus gets "reborn in spirit" each year on Easter, a spiritual regeneration parallel to the physical cycle of death and rebirth we find in nature.
I remember my grandfather being a member of a select group of initiates performing sentry duty in the church at midnight on Holy Saturdays to guard the corpse of Jesus (a life sized statue wrapped in a shroud) against theft, then proclaiming its disappearance before its eventual magical reappearance on the altar on Easter morning--testifying to the whole community on the miracle that just occurred!

Easter party time!
Easter Sunday in the Philippines is not all Catholic ritual. For more than a hundred years, after being colonized by the Americans, Easter Sunday has also been about bunnies and Easter Eggs-- the celebration of 'Spring,' ironically in a land that only has two seasons. After going to Easter Sunday mass, we traditionally party with our families.

After a period of sacrifice, fasting and abstaining, it's time to celebrate 'Life' once more... to the fullest... with the people we love!      

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"The Risen Christ"
"Easter Eggs and Cellphones"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #30

This week's theme: HOLY WEEK

Aside from Christmas, Holy Week is the most important period in this country's yearly Religious Calendar.  Being the third largest Catholic country in the world (after Brazil and Mexico), with more than 80% of the population baptized within the Faith, the whole country comes into a stand-still from Holy Wednesday until Easter Sunday. Everyone is on holiday-- most malls and restaurants are closed and everyone is expected to be in church.

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Veneration of the Cross"

"Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam"

"Stations of the Cross"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Friday, March 27, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #29

This week's theme: STORE MANNEQUINS

I find mannequins to be wonderful objects to juxtapose in photographs. They give a surrealistic touch to what would otherwise be everyday scenes. Here are some examples. 

(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Wrong Way"

"Live Mannequin"
--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Weekly Street Photos #28

This week's theme: COMMUTER BLUES

Commuting by public transportation in Metro-Manila has its own distinct flavor. Aside from the locally customized vehicles you will only find in this country, like the Jeepney and the Tricycle, we also have the normal ones like taxis, buses and trains. But no matter what type of vehicle you prefer, we do not necessarily follow strict passenger capacity or safety guidelines in this country... Speed and load limit are dictated only by the imagination:)) 
(Click on Photos for better viewing)
"Standing Room Only"

"One Too Many"

"The EDSA Drag Race"

--All Photos are the exclusive property of Atom Magadia

Monday, March 16, 2015

The "Girl With A Pink Pony"

I would like to apologize for being remiss on blogging for the last few weeks. I've had back to back deadlines and I've also been busy with my kids.

In this part of the world, summer comes in March and both my kids had their end of the year tests in the last two weeks. Anne and I make it a point to tutor them personally, particularly our younger child. So between the test reviews and the horrendous traffic to and from their schools everyday, we almost had no free time to waste.
Apart from that and my regular work,  it was again submission time for most of the major indie film festivals in this region, so I was also busy with the applications-- writing and collating the requirements for my entries.

Lately, I have been ranting about the poverty that I personally encounter whenever I go out shooting on the streets of Metro-Manila-- how we, as Filipino street photographers, should not turn a blind eye on this graphic reality; to be unashamed to show the world the poverty that surrounds us, in our streets and in our neighborhoods. I believe that there is a pressing need to bring as much attention to this crisis, so that something can be actively done about it. So, aside from documenting this tragedy in my photography, I decided to write a screenplay on this topic too.

"Girl with A Pink Pony"

Saturday, February 21, 2015

My 2015 Oscar Predictions

Over the past several years, I have sporadically posted my pre-Oscar picks particularly when I believe that the year had a good selection of films in competition.
This year was an exceptional year for the movies, maybe because only the best non-blockbuster scripts gets funding beyond the slew of franchised animation, remakes, sequels, prequels, bestseller and comic book adaptations that come out from Hollywood these days.
Anyway, here are my picks for each of the major categories for the Academy Awards. I usually get 50% of them right. Let's see how I do tomorrow night:)
Postscript: The winners are out (my guess in red, actual winner in yellow). I got 8 out of the 14 categories I included here in this blog-- a 57% hit! I am getting better every year...
For some reason, I seem to be always in the money for Best Director and Best Cinematographer. I guess it just shows that I am really familiar with my chosen crafts ;)
American Sniper
Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood - winner
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Alejandro G. Inarritu - winner *
Richard Linklater
Bennett Miller
Wes Anderson
Morten Tyldum
Steve Carell
Bradley Cooper
Benedict Cumberbatch
Micheal Keaton - winner
Eddie Redmayne
Marion Cotillard
Felicity Jones
Julianne Moore - winner *
Rosamund Pike
Reese Witherspoon
Robert Duvall
Ethan Hawke
Edward Norton
Mark Ruffalo
J.K. Simmons - winner *
Patricia Arquette
Laura Dern
Keira Knightley - winner
Emma Stone
Meryl Streep
Emmanuel Lubezki - winner *
Robert Yeoman
Lukasz Zai/Ryszard Lenczewski
Dick Pope
Roger Deakins

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Photo Mural Commission - Part 3

"Trinity" an original photo-triptych by Atom Magadia

"To see a World in a grain of sand
and Heaven in a wild FLOWER
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
and Eternity in an hour..."
William Blake
"There is Nothing you can see
that is not a FLOWER..."
Matsuo Basho
"No more words
In the Name of this Place
we drink in with our breathing
Stay quiet like a FLOWER
so the Nightbirds will start singing..."
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Beside the actual artwork