Stop Over

•November 20, 2009 • 5 Comments

I know I know, it’s a bit pathetic emulating the works of that famous Indonesian photographer. So before you spank the hell out of me and say “hey stop being such a trying hard copy cat for doing what that guy already established”, allow me to be one even for just a second. Haha.

Anyway, ever had that feeling during photo trip that somehow, you know you just haven’t had enough of the shutter clicks? That up until you board that bus on your way home you’re still actually thinking about pointing that camera against the window? That up until you had that chance to get off the bus for some quick snack you’re still looking for something to shoot? This image is a very good example. A product of none other than “I haven’t had enough from the trip” type of thing.

Marikit, Nueva Ecija 2009

This was shot right after our descent from the Sierra Madre Mountain range on our way back to Manila. The group were actually having their fair share of “brunch” as I wandered and looked for some opportunities to ease that feeling of “lackness”. Then I found myself on the other side of the highway shooting a holy cow.

As I went back up the bus, I smiled and at the same time realized … “what the hell was that”?

Sometimes, we should really learn when to stop and be contented with what we already have rather than force ourselves into getting something that wouldn’t really matter. Very much like that famous Gear Acquisition Syndrome where you always think you just can’t get enough. ( but I’m getting myself a 5DMKII so screw that line haha )

As the smile fades away, I muttered …

“I haven’t shot a cow lately so make this shit a keeper”.


Baler, Aurora Philippines 2009

•October 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment
One of those situations where the group wanted to move a cliff literally.

When we arrived in Baler, the first thing we did was to go straight to the tourism department. We asked for pointers, suggestions and recommendations on where we can find locations to shoot that have potential in terms of the magical hours. What you’re looking at right now is one of those sunrise recommendations. Ampere Beach, Dipaculao Aurora.

This is quite far from where we are staying that time. That being said, it would simply mean that in order for us to go to this site and capture that first light, we need to be on the road at least by 4am. Which I think sucks. Having drank around about 3 bottles of beer and waking up that early the next day ain’t that easy.

So off we went nevertheless with us being groggy and all that just to capture the magical sunrise that we were hoping for. After nearly an hour of tryke ride we arrived safely. It’s still quite dark and I say quite because we can already see a mixture of pink and purple tint that’s just starting to saturate across the horizon. Realizing that phenomenon, we hurried down the shore to get ourselves into positions. As the clock strikes the 5:30 am mark, we knew that we are not actually looking at a sunrise scene. The location is perfectly off in terms of light. At the extreme left of this frame is a huge cliff blocking the sun. Coupled with 2 distinct rock formations that are nearly attached to that cliff made it a perfectly bad day for us.

We were unconsciously ranting about gettting better compositions and that we literally wanted to move that cliff out of the way. It is in this situation where one might think to just accept what’s laid on the table. And that’s what the group actually did only to realize at the day’s end when we were sharing our captures that we shot the same crap over and over.

This is just one of those fun moments that you often encounter during a photo trip. Moments that are worth remembering than the pictures themselves. 🙂

Downtown Session II

•September 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Session Road, Baguio City 2009

And so I got the chance to fire a dose of the usual “beggar in the street” type of shot. It’s quite amazing that whenever we hear the term street photography, we tend to incorporate poverty as part of it. A theme that has long been utilized by the old masters and still is being utilized to date. It may probably have something to do with the country we grew up with as it may not be the case when someone blurts out something like, Europe street photography for example. While there may be a tiny spec of such theme thrown into the mix, it does not account for a large percentage of it. Not in our case. At least from what I’ve been seeing whenever I type the words “Philippine street photography” in the google search bar.

While such theme plays quite an important role in the world of photojournalism, I may have to agree that most of the time it is being overused and abused. Hence, losing all the more important elements of a powerful street photograph just for the sake of capturing a photo of say, an old fella with a tin can. The image above is a perfect example from none other than … yours truly. An image that has been a product of me falling into that same trap. And with the same frustration as the one that I had from day 1 kept pulling me down, I might as well  just take the bait.

Having said that, these photos obviously speak nothing figurative. And please, this is not in any way another one of those “help save the world through photographs” type of thing. (a lot already made such great efforts on that and here we are still facing the same set of “images”.) but rather just a plain snap for the day while having “a  walk in the park”. Plain enough to hang onto the house walls of that famous politician who just got his a$$-ets grilled on air … big time.

Downtown Session I

•August 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I haven’t done any “shooting” lately. Much more on the inter web posting. (Web posts these days by the way are quite vogue) And if I do, the photos were more of a “gems in the trash” type of thing.It was just this recent long weekend where I had a bit of a window to give way to my shooting. While it’s not really just all about being a “photo trip”, I still consider it as an opportunity.

Having been shooting landscapes from the past outings most of the time made me decide to have them scenes take a back seat for a while and focus on the other side of my photographic interest which is by the way, the streets. The last time I did some street stuff was in 2008 and I must say that I really missed doing it. The joy of not carrying a tripod and not worrying about stacking filters makes it a bit more favorable. Not that I am against it btw, but it only goes to show the differences in terms of convenience for both fields.

So, off to the streets on a Friday morning with ice cold breeze blowing in from the east and I can still feel the twist and turns of the crooked highway that brought me all the way up to this place. As I walk along the seemingly empty streets, I muttered. “This is gonna be a long day”.

And it was! The image above is not what I had in mind. I have already made the photograph mentally before that old lady attempted to cross the street. The vision that I had in mind was  to frame a shot of this old lady crossing the pedestrian lane. And here I am, presenting an image of the same old lady already on the other side. Such a loser eh? I was already standing off the sidewalk waiting for her to cross when all of a sudden, a bunch of not so relevant bit players came into play. Nah! I don’t need bit players at this time. So off I waited for a clearing only to find out that the image I had in mind is already starting its way towards oblivion.As a result, I ended up with a snap instead. Such starter made a lot of impact on me. And as much as I wanted to forget and get rid of it over the next frames, there really is something special about “starting the day right”.

Did I? No I didn’t. So don’t try to ask me why the snap above is in square format. Screw the photo and just mind the dead-center flare : )

Welcome Aboard Little Yashi

•August 11, 2009 • 1 Comment

Just in time when we all are aware that digital photography is currently hitting up the charts, I find myself craving to own a film camera. Quite a counter flow on where the industry and the rat pack is going so I’m pretty sure you guys needed some sort of explanation. Why go film? Why a TLR?

First and foremost, I’m not. Never will I. The joy of shooting digital and not worrying about wasted film makes it far inescapable. Yes, I’m a trigger happy kiddo who doesn’t mind shutter actuation. Then why film over digital when all praises favor the latter?

I was 10 when I first held my father’s pentax MX upon a request to take a picture of him and I never thought that it would somehow be my soft start into the world of photography. I can say that I had quite a fair share of moment with that camera before it finally called for a rest. However, I haven’t got the chance to take photography seriously during these times. The year 2001 saw me shooting with a Canon prima Point and shoot film camera but still, never did I  pay enough attention to photography as a brand of art. It was when the digital compact cameras hit the scene that I finally started to be conscious about my way of shooting. More so when I finally got my hands on a digital SLR. Having been shooting around with my DSLR for more than 2 years now makes me think back to where it all started. FILM.

After 2 years of learning the technicalities on my DSLR, I finally felt that there is something worth the retrospection. An urge to go back in time and redo those things that I missed big time. Shoot film with “photography as art” in mind. But why TLR?

First, if I’m gonna own one film camera today, I wanted it to be something different. Something unconventional. Something that wouldn’t let me feel like I’m still shooting digital. Second, I would like to take the opportunity of deviating from the 35mm aspect ratio and try the 6×6 medium format that a TLR can give.

There are various medium format cameras out there other than a TLR,  however, I favor its size and availability. It was last week when I finally got my hands on this little Yashi baby from the 70s …for quite a reasonable price. While the shooting transition on this camera is a little bit slow, I humbly take that up as a challenge. Shooting in film as we all know demands a different approach and discipline altogether anyway so why rant the hell about it being such a slug.

Did I say I miss shooting film? Certainly. Like how I miss driving my manual transmission Sentra.

I have yet to shoot a roll of Portra with this beast.
But before I do … I say, welcome to the hands of a digital photographer.

There are various medium format cameras out there other than a TLR,  however, I favor its size and availability. It was last week when I finally got my hands on this little Yashi baby from the 70s …for quite a reasonable price. While the shooting transition on this camera is a little bit slow, I humbly take that up as a challenge. Shooting in film as we all know demands a different approach and discipline altogether anyway so why rant the hell about it being such a slug.


•July 28, 2009 • 1 Comment

Ok, so while waiting for the real thing to happen (which by the way isn’t anytime soon), I would like to share some good ol’ shot which was processed to make it look like the one that was taken from a roll of medium format ektachrome film. It may appear to be pathetic shooting digital and trying hard to make it look like a film capture in the end, but there really is something in film photography that is worth the limelight. I could not actually describe it on paper as it is basically more on the overall character of the film photograph rather than just the look.

This may not be the best conversion thus far but I’m quite convinced.


•July 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I have yet to get myself a Yashica Twin Lens Reflex camera.