The deadline for the K-State international programs photo contest is coming up and I’ve been going through my library trying to pick out my three entries for this year. Last year I submitted three photos and 2 of them placed – one took first and the other was an honorable mention. The one that got first place was a photo of the Marina Bay Sands that I took while I was in Singapore for the Kraft iTaste program. The other one was the coin diver photo.
Because this contest is hosted by the Study Abroad Office, more than just submitting a photo of a beautiful place overseas, I want to emphasize culture and make the viewer wonder or think about the story of the subject within the image. So in the process of looking for entries, I ran across this photo of a fisherman and his son out on Lake Sebu in the province of South Cotabato in the Philippines. Lake Sebu is home to one of the many indigenous people groups in the Philippines, the T’boli. Although the area has been modernized in many ways, you can still easily see things that probably haven’t changed in the last 50 to 100 years. In this photo the fisherman and his son are paddling back to shore after checking their tilapia nets. Their little canoe looks empty, so they didn’t bring back any fish, so maybe the went out to feed them. Take a close look at the canoe, it’s been carved out of a single tree trunk. I wonder how long it took to make it. Notice the paddle, that’s been hand-made as well, out of bamboo. Also, the fisherman isn’t riding in the canoe, he’s out on the end. These are things that I would venture to say, have remained unchanged for many years and give us a glimpse of the “original” culture of the people.
Some details about this photo:
Camera: Pentax K-r
Lens: DA-L 55-300
Focal Length: 230mm
Shutter Speed: 1/500s
Early one morning at Lake Sebu, I was out taking photos. As I was looking out over the lake, I saw this canoe moving along. I kept watching it and saw that it was a father taking his son out on an early morning canoe ride. They were going in circles around the water front of their bamboo house. I thought it was just kind of cool, this close relationship between father and son. They just kept paddling around and around, backing up, moving forward, maneuvering the canoe.
Well, this canoe was quite a ways from where I was sitting, on a hill over looking the lake, at least a couple hundred meters. It was only until I blew the picture up on the computer that I noticed that the son also had a paddle. What happened on the lake wasn’t just a close father and son moment, it was a father teaching son moment, passing on the skills of living life on the lake. Awesome! It reminds me of the verse…
Proverbs 22:6 “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”
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.
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.