Today was not the best weather for shooting as it rained on and off the whole day while we were at Caliraya. We were almost unable to shoot the famous monitoring tower too since security was tightened after three people drowned at the lake last November and we could not go down to the lake shore for our angles. It's actually f****d up because they drowned just a few meters from the tower - all of them at the same time! Poor souls. We were told that they probably got caught in an undertow and were not strong enough swimmers to fight it. Scary huh? The tower was probably one of the last things they saw alive.
Ok, ok ok -that may be the case but we sure as hell won't let the road-trip come to waste. Besides we were not there to swim anyway right? So with a little persistence and friendly chit chat, the guard eventually let us through.
And then it started pouring. Brilliant.
Which is why I only came away with a few keepers. But it's cool, that's the name of the game. Sometimes you're blessed with gorgeous light. Sometimes you're given crappy shooting conditions:p To make the most out of the situation, I waited patiently until the rain let up just enough to have the clouds part and have the right amount of light shine through, bathing the tower in golden light before triggering the shutter.
Since it was gloomy weather anyway, I decided to reflect this in the image by once again converting the shots to black and white. This time playing around with the darker side of the palette for a dark and brooding feel.
I was finally able to get some shut-eye last night after a whirlwind road trip. And boy, did that feel great.
Yesterday I shared photos from our Mariveles-Subic trip in glorious color. Allow me to share a few more, this time in the simplicity of classic black and white.
Sisiman bay, just before the golden hour.
The photo above does not do justice to the powerful presence this rock makes. I was looking for a nice foreground for reference to illustrate the size of this huge boulder-like mass but couldn't find any. Well, there was one angle that would've been great except from there, I couldn't fit the rock in the frame even at the widest focal length of my lens which was at 24mm. So I ditched that and with fleeting light, needed to shoot fast. Scrambling in near darkness, I finally decided to just plop the tripod and pray that this alternative angle turn out alright. Note to self, get a wider lens! :)
We actually missed the sunrise for this location because somebody had to do number two at the very last moment! I won't say who but yeah, that was hilarious. Scouting all kinds of possible locations in Subic for most of the night only to miss it in the end because of 'unforeseen circumstances'. Hahaha! Crazy! :)
_I look at the clock just at it strikes 3pm and I let out a ripper of a yawn. You see, I just came back from an epic sunset to sunrise marathon with my awesome buddies, Mark and Edsel as we took advantage of the long weekend to travel North and take photographs of the magnificent play of light and shadow at Mariveles and Subic.
I have gotten no sleep so far and I've been driving the whole time so you can imagine how dead tired I am. And yet as much as I want to turn in for the afternoon and sleep in for the rest of the day, the photos are just begging to be downloaded and given a quick once over in edits so I can share the fruits of our labor.
We left Manila right around 11am yesterday and headed to Mariveles, Bataan. The plan was to go to one of the Barangays in the Municipality called Sisiman where an iconic lighthouse, very much loved by photographers for it's unique staircase and dramatic backdrop, was located. (I say was because in late 2011, the lighthouse was destroyed by one of the strong typhoons that hit the country). So yes, although we were aware of that fact, it did not stop us from picking Sisiman as our destination because for the longest time, Mark and I have been planning to go visit and shoot the place and the long weekend served as the perfect opportunity to do so. Of course, we were hoping that the reports that the lighthouse had fallen were false too. Because that would make the trip all the more awesome.
The journey was not too bad, even after getting lost for awhile, we arrived at our destination in about 3 1/2 hours. Unfortunately, AND as expected, the horizon was bare. No more lighthouse to greet us and our cameras. What's left was an unremarkable meter tall base that's almost completely submerged in the water - Not what we would call the ideal subject for a dramatic sunset backdrop. Fortunately, we still had tons of foreground elements to play around with for our compositions. This, plus the gorgeous sunset bathing us in golden light made the journey worthwhile.
We stayed until 7pm, shooting until the last dying rays of the sun waived farewell and off we went to Subic for part two of our light chasing adventure. Sunrise.
It was pretty funny because we were heading towards Subic with no concrete plan in mind as to where to catch the sunrise. And I can honestly say that after this adventure, we probably know all the ins and outs of Subic like the back of our hands.
Anyway, I'll tell ya'll about it and upload more photos probably tomorrow or tonight. My body is telling me to get some friggin' sleep first :)
Recently, I was down south to attend a meeting in Davao with my dad. I arrived on Monday but since the meeting was not scheduled to take place until 1pm the next day, I did a little research on interesting seascapes nearest to our hotel before I left for the airport just in case I would be able to find the time to shoot.
Within a few clicks, I found and read about this hidden gem in Matina where a thin peninsula extended itself from the Davao gulf called Punta Dumalag. What made this location remarkable was a solitary mangrove tree situated on a rocky outcrop just offshore creating a stirring landscape scene seemingly drawn out from a photographer's dream. I was lucky that my friends from Sunstar Davao, Donna and Stella knew the place and promised to take me there.
It's a well documented fact that I never wake up until the roosters have retired for the day but realizing that sunrise would be the only time I would get to photograph this beautiful location, I committed myself to do so - with the help of four alarms.
We arrived at the beach front gate a few minutes past 5am only to find out though that it was locked. Interestingly enough, four other photographers from Manila were there to catch the sunrise too. But we all did not have access to the property.
Refusing to give up, our group composed of myself, my dad and Donna, followed Stella's lead as she suggested that we double back and enter the beachfront via the opposite side of the peninsula.
In pitch black darkness we traversed and hiked the rocky terrain using our mobile phones as makeshift lanterns. Eventually we reached a path that cut straight through the peninsula all the way to the our destination. Funny though because when we got there, the four photographers whom we saw earlier were already there, setting up their tripods. I guess they found a quicker shortcut to bypass the gate :)
Anyway, tripods down and locked, cameras on, filters on standby, we were ready for the sunrise.
Another stargazer shot taken in Tagaytay. We were really blessed with a clear cloudless night that day and I've gotta say a sight like that never gets old. That sky was literally exploding right before my eyes. Watching all of those stars watching over me gave a strange sense of peace and comfort and actually brought back warm child-hood memories growing up in Davao. Something I have not experienced in a long long while.
Which leaves me to point out that this is one of the downsides of the technology we have. It's glaring really. With all of our forever-wired gadgets and short-attention spans, it has been increasingly rare for us to take the time and really see the natural beauty around us.
Now more than ever, it takes a conscious effort to disconnect in order to reconnect.
The next-generation flagship Nikon digital-SLR camera with the ultimate in versatility and functionality TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Nikon D4, a Nikon FX-format camera that serves as the new flagship model in Nikon's lineup of digital-SLR cameras. Nikon will be exhibiting the D4 at the 2012 International CES, to be held Tuesday, January 10 through Friday, January 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This electronics exhibition is open to the public.
The D4 is equipped with a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor (imaging size of 36.0 x 23.9 mm) and EXPEED 3, the latest image-processing engine specifically optimized for digital-SLR cameras, making it the next-generation flagship Nikon digital-SLR camera with the ultimate in versatility and functionality that offers superior image quality rich in detail along with excellent high-speed performance. It has an effective pixel count of 16.2-million pixels, and offers superior image quality under a broad range of lighting conditions with its image sensor supporting an incredible range of sensitivities from ISO 50 to ISO 204800.
Read more about this beast after the jump!
"Don’t worry about being better than anybody you know personally or whose work you admire. Simply try to be better tomorrow than you were yesterday. You are not so much in competition with others as you are with yourself. Be your own toughest critic. Show only your best and develop your self-editing abilities so you know just what your best is."
– Bill Allard
Because I am envious of other people's work that sometimes I really do think I suck, thank you for reminding me Mr. Allard.
This is the travel and photography blog of Manila based photographer Dux Carvajal.