Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Sunday Walk

I consider Sunday as the Photography Day. The day where I go out with my photography buddies and walk from Quiapo Manila to PICC in Pasay to take street and urban photos. May 25 is our latest photo session. Here are the reflections I captured:

Ohhhh it's been 10 years since my country's centenial celebration of Independence day. Captured these flag in front of Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in PICC compound. It's been 110 years of freedom, where are we now???

The problem in doing street and urban photography is that there are times that you walk and walk and all you got is 5 to 10 shots where 70-80% will be deleted later on. During that time, try to be creative (lol). Try to capture anything that you think is interesting like the one above. I captured this low flying Cebu Pacific Plane. I never think of using it but when I got back home and look at my shot, a light bulb hits my mind to rotate the photo and place the plane diagonally in the upper left corner of the frame. I hope you like it like I do.

Always try to capture as many sceneries or architectural photos. After all the streets are public places. You can take as many photos as you can and don't let other people intimidate you but be always be polite in dealing with people or security guards.

The old stair of the old wall of Intramuros

The Harbour Place in PICC

The Manila Skyline by the Bay

Unlike in other types of photography, street photography is quite more challenging in terms of dealing with your subjects. Some of your subjects are too shy to face the camera so it is more advisable to go under your stealth mode to capture your subject in their natural way of life. In my case I always use my zoom lens to go under the snipper mode instead of the stealth mode. Below are my street photos captured last Sunday:

After the long journey along the streets of Manila, to watch the sunset in Manila bay is a priceless reward...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Summer of 2008: Bicol Trip

It was the Summer of 2006 when my friends and I had a very memorable outing in Coron Palawan. Palawan is blessed with mother nature's beauty with all those limestones standing tall around the calm lagoons like a wall protecting the whole area and the colorful coral reefs and fishes. Well enough for 2006 and lets go to 2008. After 2 years of waiting for another great summer vacation, we decided to go to the land of Coconut milk, the Bicol Region. We went to Camarines Sur where one of my friends resides.

We went there by bus that left Manila around 9PM of Thursday and arrived in Naga City at around 5AM of Friday. There are many bus companies that could take you from Manila to Bicol. There are also different levels of accommodations where you can choose from like in airlines. In our case we picked the best accommodation level going to Bicol. We rode in Isarog's Lazy Boy Extreme bus. It had 3 columns and 7 rows of wide and comfortable Lazy boy seats and a comfort room like that of an airplane. The Lay boy extreme costs us 950 pesos while going back to Manila we picked up the second best accommodation. the seats are not that comfortable as the lazyboy and there's no CR but that's OK because on your way home you are too tired with the activities you did in Bicol to think about the bus. All you want to do is to sleep and take a rest. The ticket for that 2nd best accommodation is around 700 pesos.


After we arrived around 5AM in the morning, we spent half of our day on preparations and travels to Caramoan. To go to Caramoan from my friend's place, we took an hour ride to Sabang port then almost 3 hours of boat ride (this usually takes 1.5hours but due to weather condition the traveling time was doubled) and finally a jeepney ride to Caramoan's town proper. Basically, our day 1 more of a small tour in the town of Caramoan and another boat ride to Mt. Caglago where we climbed the 527 steps towards the shrine of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. The shrine is sitting near the summit of the mountain overlooking the islands of Caramoan.

St. Michael Parish Church in Caramoan

Mt. Caglago

Caramoan at Night


Our second day in Caramoan is the highlight of our travel in Caramoan. It's Island hopping day! Enjoy my photos of the Caramoan washed sugar - color sands, the limestones and clear sea water.


Our day 2 was a blast. After our island hopping, I really like to extend my vacation in Caramoan. Our destination for Day 3 is Camsur Watersport Complex in Pili, Camarines Sur. This is where the best Wake Boarding facility in the world is located. It is popularly known as the CWC. They got a very good facility and yet it's very cheap to try that wake boarding and knee boarding thing. For about 165 pesos in an hour is way way cheaper compare to 400 pesos of the wake boarding facility in Batangas. If there are alot of people on the queue for the cable skiing area, you can talk to the ladies in the registration area to reschedule you on another time slot and while you are waiting you can enjoy their cool fresh water swimming pool. I mean fresh because their pool doesn't use chlorine instead they have a free flowing water. The excess water is then transferred to the cable skiing area. Enough for the explanation and just enjoy the photos of CWC.

After CWC, we prepared for our trip back to Manila. We made a quick stop in Naga City to buy pasalubongs.Of course, the different variants of Pili nuts. We also took our dinner in a chinese restaurant and drop by the Church to thank God for a very very good weather He gave us. Manila was battered by the typhoon COSME the same weekend we are in Bicol. We board in our bus to Manila at around 8:45PM of Sunday and arrived back in Manila at around 5:00AM.

A Very Good Way of Ending a Very Good Vacation

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My World In HDR (High Dynamic Range)

In image processing, computer graphics and photography, high dynamic range imaging (HDRI) is a set of techniques that allows a greater dynamic range of exposures (the range of values between light and dark areas) than normal digital imaging techniques. The intention of HDRI is to accurately represent the wide range of intensity levels found in real scenes ranging from direct sunlight to shadows. (from wikipedia)