Stalking the most beautiful places in the Philippines


Welcome, welcome 'o weary traveler... from where do you cometh? Are you seeking new lands to conquer, perhaps planning a visit to the Philippines? Or are you simply feeling home-sick and hungry for photographs of home? Whatever, feel free to look or share. An adventure awaits.

I try to post new images weekly from my travels across this beautiful land. If you like what you see, please leave a comment or two. Or write me a note, I'd love to hear from where you cometh. Enjoy. Bobby (bobbyw59@yahoo.com) Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.


Monday, June 27, 2011

#125 Dawn Fisherman


We came to shoot the dawn in the town of Tangalan in Aklan, but it didn't help that we woke-up late. Prudence dictates staking-out the place the day before, to visualize the possibilities and plan our compositions. Or barring that, we should arrive at least an hour before sunrise, as long as we're accompanied by photographers who already know where the best vantage points can be found. But being late, we had to make the best of what we were dealt.

When you interrupt a successful routine, you can get temporarily disoriented. But it's often in periods of dislocation, when your mind is free to roam, that incredible opportunity exists. I'd always known the rising sun paints a large swath of landscape golden. I just had to look away to see those possibilities, which in today's postcard, were fish pens silhouetted against an pastel orange sky. A fisherman is headed that way. Imagine. Set-up quickly. Compose. Wait. Click. How did I do? Enjoy.


(Pixel-peepers: After sunrise the scene around it can be too contrasty. But just 90 degrees to the left or to the right, the scene can still look like dawn. The light can still be soft and the colors, pastel. In fact, contrast can be so low you'll need a polarizer and/or a GND filter just to punch-up the colors. As always, a gray card reading during the twilight hours is indispensable.)



Where in the world is the Tangalan in Aklan?
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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

#124 Inner Peace



Inner peace. Inner peace.  Shades of Master Sifu and Po?




I had been struggling for a grand composition all day, for a single photograph to embody my maiden journey to the province of Aklan. It must include part of the land and sky, I thought, and let's not forget its people. I combed the Buruanga shore for potential, until I stumbled upon this calm reflecting pool separated from the raging surf by a sand bar. The smooth still surface is like an inner sanctuary of peace, inner peace. It will become a mirror at dusk, I thought, multiplying the light in the sky. But what about the missing human element? Fingers crossed. 

When the sun finally set, and with the sun's dying light still splashed across the sky, a family of beachcombers set off for home, which meant walking over the sandbar, and right into my composition. In an instant, my composition came together, and at another level, transformed my struggle into a state of inner peace. Enjoy. 

(Pixel-peepers: This was my first try with a shift-lens, taking three adjacent shots in rapid succession, and then blending them together in photoshop. It's not as difficult as it sounds. You just have to watch out for moving objects, like these Aklanons walking across the sandbar at dusk, else some of them may appear in your frame more than once!) 


Where in the world is Buruanga in Aklan?
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Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, June 13, 2011

#123 A Humble Home in Mahatao


In the town of Mahatao in Batanes is a house of stone, the only one left behind by the steady march of progress. We stopped to take some pictures, but it was those taken inside that I thought were more fit to become this week's postcard.

The stone house is over a hundred years old, with a leaky grass roof that stained the walls inside. The floor still had some tarred planks, well worn by generations that lived there, but momentarily covered by modern vinyl. On one end of the room, a blackened round wok sits atop a stone embankment, with a crude grill nearby. There's a mound of coconut shells for starting a fire, as well as a pile of firewood to keep the flame going. They mostly grill or boil their food because cooking oil is a luxury. On one side is a small table where they keep everything they own. The center of the room is where they alternately eat, sleep, and live. You can tell some modernity has arrived: plastic pails, bottles, basins, chairs, and toys. Where the past meets the present, it's still out there if you look hard enough. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: The stone house itself has been over-photographed. I thought I'd show you another dimension, one that showed the world its occupants lived in. Lit by available light from a nearby window, I metered off the floor and underexposed it by 1/3 of a stop. The rest of the dynamic range were revealed by the magic of Photoshop.) 

Where in the world is Batanes?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

Monday, June 6, 2011

#122 The Mind Sees what it wants to See


When returning to places you've been, there is often a desire to find what you remember, if only to see if it's still there. 

I took several memorable photographs at Valugan beach in Batanes in 2006. They were of old boats strewn along a barren shore, lit golden by the warmth of first light. It was a set I would not forget. So when I returned recently in search of new perspectives, I was drawn back to those earlier scenes of boats along the shore. True enough, I did find an old boat looking out to sea. Was it the same boat? Did it look like it's just been repainted? Who knows? But to me it was the same scene all over again, of solitary boats waiting anxiously for the birth of a new sun, which incidentally is the very same thing I've come for. I had come to find something new, but in the end, the new was the same as the old. The mind sees what it wants to see. Enjoy.

(Pixel-peepers: I did not know what to expect. Deep inside I was searching for an intimate connection to the landscape, for a creative template on which I could build something new on. And although I spent most of the time pointing my camera elsewhere, I knew I had to come back to shoot this boat along the shore. I waited until the clouds caught some color before I recognized an old friend from five years ago. Click. It's nice seeing you again. Used a 2-stop GND and a polarizer.) 


Where in the world is the Batanes?
Sign-up to receive new postcards weekly by email 
Past postcards at www.PostcardsFromManila.com
Say helloBobbyw59@yahoo.com
But wait, there's more...
For those who've inquired about buying prints of my postcards, you may purchase them directly from master printmaker Arnel Murillo (murilloarnel@yahoo.com), one of the country's foremost fine-art printmakers.  Arnel uses archival inks and museum-grade paper to ensure his prints will not fade. You will not be disappointed. (All my images are provided gratis to help showcase the beauty of our country. But if you feel generous, help me uplift the lives of the Children of Payatas.  No donation is too big or too small. Get in touch with Fr. Aldrin Suan at aldrinsuan@yahoo.com of the Vincentian Missionaries in the Philippines. As always, thanks and enjoy.)

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