Took a road trip, about a half a year ago, from Subic Bay, on the island of Luzon, all the way down to southern Mindanao. There were two ferry rides – Luzon to Visayas, Visayas to Mindanao. While still at the docks, men and children on little boats would surround the ferries, urging, calling, begging the passengers to throw coins into the ocean, which they would then dive for, racing each other to get the coins.
Where have I been?
Aside, from my earlier post today, it has been about a week since the last one. The reason for this gap is that I was gone for about a week, inspecting flat-bed dryers in Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, and Compostela Valley.
Rizal Monument at Luneta Park
Jose Rizal is the most famous national hero of the Philippines. He was executed by the Spanish in 1896 for his alleged role in the revolution that resulted in independence from Spain. Somewhere around Luneta Park, but not where the monument is, was where the execution, by firing squad, actually took place. If I’m not mistaken, his remains are entombed in the Monument.
The photo below is another example of HDR. I took 3 bracketed exposures, merged them in photomatix, and then retouched in Aperture 3. The photo was taken with the Pentax k-r and the cheap DA-L 18-55 mm kit lens (the DA* f2.8 16-50 mm is on my wish list).
I was away last week. Spent 5 days at a camp at Lake Sebu. At camp, rise and shine was around 5 AM, so there was no sleeping in, although I managed to stay in bed till 5:30 a few times. Not being a camper, I got away with it. On the first morning, I got up at around 4:45 and got on my bike, which I hadn’t ridden in a while, except the day before, just to test it out. So that morning it hurt to sit down on the hard seat, but I managed. I pedaled about a kilometer up the road from the camp, up to this hill overlooking the lake. The view really wasn’t spectacular. I was actually a little disappointed and I started to experiment to see if I could create a shot that might turn out to be interesting. So… I shot into the rising sun.
I took 10 exposures, setting the camera to manual mode, fixing the aperture and varying the shutter speed. Yes, I used a tripod. Did a lot of fiddling in photomatix and some more fiddling in Aperture 3. I got into quick brushes in Aperture 3, applying burn and contrast overlay. I’m still not totally satisfied with the result, but it is the best I can do for now. Still have a lot to learn.
Today I was at a school at Lake Sebu, helping with a fencing project. Sometime around 3 in the afternoon, dark clouds started to roll in and it looked like it was really gonna pour. Maybe it wasn’t a very smart move, but I got the camera and tripod out and went out into the newly land prepped rice fields to get the power lines out of the frame and grab this shot. I had to walk along rice paddy dikes. Now, rice paddy dikes can be narrow, wide, dry, wet, hard or soft and muddy, and if you miss your step, well, into the wet and muddy paddy you go. So there I was, hurrying along the dikes with a tripod and camera in hand, trying to get a photo before it started to rain. Right before the spot where I wanted to set up, there was this part that looked like it was pretty solid and there was a short wood plank there. The plank should have raised red flags… but it didn’t.
Well, I took a quick step with my right foot onto the solid-looking dike and then my left on the wooden plank, and as soon as my right foot hit the dike it sank into the mud ankle-deep. Good thing my left foot was already in motion and got onto the wooden plank before my right foot sank any further. My shoe was muddy, but so what, I got the shot, and I think it was worth the muddy shoe and… maybe… the risk of getting the camera wet and muddy and messed up… maybe. I did have to rush back cause it started to pour! I moved the plank though so I could just take one step over the soft part of the dike.
f/16 ISO 100 18mm
On the way to the airport I saw that the view of Mt. Matutom was clearer than usual and the clouds around it made it look interesting. So on the way back I pulled over onto one of the dirt roads on the Dole Pineapple plantation, got the camera and tripod out and took a few photos. I bracketed all of them, and most were from -2 to +2. I think “matutom” means something like steadfast and true and maybe loyal. Something like that.
This photo is another one of my attempts at HDR. This was 3 bracketed shots (-2, 0, +2 EV) merged together in Photomatix and then enhanced in Aperture 3. I shot in DNG to get as much data as possible.
1/160 f/13 ISO 100 32mm