The streets were filled with energy of excitement. Of people with painted faces eager to experience the revelry going through the mid-day. A group of performers in their shimmering blue attire dances to the beat under the bearing sun. “Viva Pit Señor!!!” they shout as they raise their hands to the sky. Their festival queen dances gracefully, arching her back incredibly far and deep while raising the Sto Niño to the sky. How she retains her smile through this is a wonder as I try to capture this moment. My DSLR takes a back seat. From my pocket, I pull out the Asus Zenfone Zoom. I like the feel of the leather at the phone’s back cover which also helps with the traction on my hands.
Late May 2015, I became a part of a group of nature and news photographers to capture images during a photo safari organized by Oceana Philippines. Each of us had our own styles and strengths ensuring we show different facets of the protected seascape, Tañon Strait. For six full days, traveling from Bantayan Islands of Northern Cebu to Dumaguete south of Negros Island, we visited beaches, island hopped, snorkeled, dived, strolled through historic towns, shopped at dry fish markets, went on a river cruise, walked on mangrove boardwalks, stayed a night at a reef station and chased dolphins in the wild. It was an exciting expedition where we were thankful for favorable weather conditions allowing us to easily capture the wonderful scenes during the trip. A set of carefully curated images were printed and became part of a travelling exhibit which includes the World Ocean’s Day exhibit in Libis and toured in parts of Cebu and Dumaguete. Half a year later, we got excited too hear that the planned coffee table book was already out, sooner than expected. The book “Images of Tañon Strait”, is like the culmination of this project.
I have worked with the Dornier/InFlight team for quite a while now and most of the time, the assignments had been really interesting much like the Cebu-Bohol “Escape Into the Wild” and the Laguna Lake Loop “Slice of Art” story. I like working mostly as a photographer with a team comprised of a writer and sometimes the art director as I’m more focused on shooting than interviewing for the story. For this five-day Bicol assignment with InFlight Traveller, I was with writer Monica de Leon and and Art Director Jocas See. We were accompanied by our guide, the Bicolano Man himself, Renato Jao. This assignment was pretty close to me as for the very long time (I think 10 years) I get to go back to my mom’s hometown which is Daraga, Albay. I used to spend summers here when I was a kid and I really like how the places has developed from what I remember. Also in this issue is a feature on one of my favorite resorts in Palawan, Qi Palawan. Check out the spreads below and hopefully you get a copy at the nearest bookstores like Fully Booked and National Bookstore.
National Geographic. Manfrotto. Gitzo. If you have been into for photography for a while, these are the names of trusted brands already known for their quality and durability. Ask any photographer and one way or another, these brands will pop-up when people asked about reliable gear for tripods, bags and accessories. While their presence here in the Philippines have been floating around somewhere here and there through questionable distribution, the recent launch, showcase last week solidified their presence in the country. Manfrotto, National Geographic and Gitzo brought in their latest products and models and would be widely available nationwide through Henry’s, Colours and highly popular online store Lazada.
The world of photo sharing is so swift it runs parallel to the speed of your internet connection. While mobile phone photography have grown in leaps and bounds in terms of quality, digital cameras DSLRs, mirrorless and advance compacts are still the kings of digital imaging. New digital camera models already sports Wifi and NFC connectivity to allow instant transfers to smartphone or computer devices. But how about the older generation of digital cameras that doesn’t have these features? Wireless SD Cards like Toshiba FlashAir III W–03 brings in WiFi connectivity to cameras by simply inserting the SD card in.
Many Travel Photographers are in a quandary whether to take a tripod or not for a trip. Well if I’m doing landscapes, night photography and architecture a tripod is a must-bring. It’s a challenging item to bring as it can be bulky and heavy. Manfrotto introduced their Off Road series to address the needs of travel photographers for a tough, but light travel photography gear ideal for backpacking or hiking. Recently I had the chance to use the Manfrotto Off Road Tripod. The one I tested is the red one and there’s a blue and green option as well. After using it in my recent travel in Palawan from El Nido, San Vicente and Puerto Princesa here’s my impression of Manfrotto’s new tripod.