Archive for November, 2009

Day 61 – My Birthday

Today is my Birthday…. yeah! I decided to put the laptop and camera down and just enjoy the day. Well… almost… I took a couple of photos at Sunset. Its hard to resist with the sunsets here in Boracay.

I’ve also included a couple of quick photos of my apartment and the surrounding grounds in this post.

A beach sand castle with my birthday date on it. Again... photographing sunsets on Aperture Priority just doesn't work for me. So in manual mode I used, ISO 200, 1/160 sec, F10. Zoomed the flash to 70mm with +0.7 FEV triggered off camera with an ST-E2.

We had blue skies all day except for these clouds at sunset. ISO 200, 1/160 sec, F8, 70mm.


My apartment from the front side.

The main swimming pool I swim in nearly everyday.

The waterfall at the swimming pool.

I swan here for an hour or so today...

The grounds around where my apartment is.

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Today I decided it was time to shoot various images from sun rise to sun set. This meant waking up at 4:45am! It was very dark and continued shooting till around 6am. Then it was time to head over to Bolabog beach again later in the morning to see what was going on and then to the top of the island. Then finally back to Bom Bom bar for sunset on the bean bags.

Taken at 5:26am at ISO 400, 30 seconds, F10.

A wider landscape shot. Taken at 5:33am, ISO 160, 15 seconds, F13.

Getting closer to getting some better shots. Taken at 5:43am, ISO 100, 5 seconds, F22.

Finally this HDR image taken at 5:46am. ISO 100, F22. Frame 1: 1/2 second. Frame 2: 1 second. Frame 3: 2 seconds. 1 minute after this shot, it was all over. Not a great sun rise so I'll try again soon...

A boat getting ready to go out on Bolabog beach.

Then I went to Mount Loho... the tallest point on the island. I used my polarising filter to remove the reflections off the leaves. Bolabog beach is in the distance.

Looking 180 degrees the other way you see this view. Lapus-Lapus Beach.

When you get to Mound Loho, you have to climb these stairs.

The Mount Loho welcome sign.

Tonight's sunset. You can see someone parasailing in the distance. Aperture Priority was far to variable so I switched to manual mode. ISO 200, 1/250 sec, F16.

I took this picture from the Bom Bom bar especially for Nick, Brian and Drew. I was sitting on the bean bag on the next table and popped my flash on my table pointing towards the table in front. As flash is day light balanced it didn't look right so I chucked on a 1/2 strength CTO gel to warm up the scene. ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F20 and the flash at -2/3 FEV.

My last frame of the day taken at 5:23pm. ISO 200, 1/160 sec, F11.

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Here is a collection of photos that I’ve taken over the last few days.

I wondered along the beach and I noticed these 3 girls using a Canon 450D to take photos of each other and having a laugh doing so... So I offered to take a photo of them and then said if I could try something different. They were curious and I took a few frames like this one. After about 5 minutes, I continued and had a beer in a bar called Paraw.

The bar at Club Paraw.

Club Paraw early before it got busy.

Live entertainment at the Bom Bom bar.

I like slow exposures with rear curtain flash. But this was perhaps a bit too slow. ISO 800, 1/3 sec, F4.

Sitting on the beach at Bom Bom.

Willy's rock with the Virgin Mary and is collectively referred to as a symbol of Boracay.

A wider shot of Willy's rock.

You can't see the drama in the clouds in the previous image. So this wider shot gives you more idea.

However, I think this shot really shows what's going on in the clouds.

A HDR image of a kararoki bar. I have a few more shots planned for this location.

The Rumba's bar I attend daily. I have all my meals here and perhaps a few beers! πŸ˜‰ I took this early tonight with 2 flashes with 1/2 CTO gels..

Getting the Rumba's name in the frame.

Again focusing on getting the bar name into the frame.

A wider shot of the Rumba's Bar.

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Day 55 – Kite Boarding

Before I went to the Miss Earth event, I popped down to Bolabog beach to do some more practice in shooting sports action. I do feel I’m improving which I hope this next batch of images show. My framing is getting better. I’m anticipating when to shoot is getting better. And the focusing technique I learnt from my cousin Barry is getting better also…

ISO 400, 1/1000 sec, F3.5, 200mm, +0.7 EV.

ISO 400, 1/1250 sec, F3.5, 200mm, +0.7 EV.

I love this frame! I found out who this guy was today. His name is Ken at Free Style Kite Boarding.

I love the way he's just hanging on waiting to eventually come down to the water.

I met this person today (Day 57). She's letting the air out of her kite in this photo.

ISO 320, 1/1600 sec, F2.8, 200mm, +0.7 EV.

My last frame of the shoot...

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Day 55 – Miss Earth

I was fortunate enough to be in Boracay for the Miss Earth event. However, I was not fortunate enough to get a photographer pass 😦 Mind you, I was competing with Reuters and other news agencies! πŸ˜‰ I got a spot on the balcony which proved to be okay for most shots with my 200mm lens. With the lighting conditions at the event, you had to have a F2.8 or faster lens. I worked in manual the whole time and mostly shot at ISO 800, 1/160 sec, F2.8. For wider group shots, I shot at F5.6. I later found an ISO 640 combination that worked well enough. I had to be quite careful with my shutter speed even though I was shooting with a monopod.

I was later told that I was seen on the TV broadcast with my camera! πŸ™‚

Here are some pics from the event…

The wider group of contestants in swim suites.

Miss Northern Ireland.

The contestants being selected for the next round. Miss South Africa is in this frame who went to the final 16.

The presenters with some entertainers...

Miss Brazil looking straight at the TV camera!

Miss Earth 2008 (Miss Philippines).

A whole section of the show had entertainers while the judges worked out the next round of contestants.

The entertainment was very good!

I pushed my shutter speed to 1/200 sec for these action sequences.

Miss Northern Ireland made it to the final 8.

Miss Philippines. The crowd of filipinos went wild every time she came on stage!

Miss South Africa. Unfortunately, she did not make it to the final 8.

Miss Bahamas putting on a show of her musical talents.

Miss Brazil won the contest and is now Miss Earth. In this photo, Miss Earth 2008 has just handed over the crown. In second place, Miss Philippines (Miss Air), in third place was Miss Venezuela (Miss Water). In forth place was Miss Spain (Miss Fire).

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In the evening of day 52, I attended the Miss Earth cocktail party and of course my camera came with me! πŸ˜‰ The first person I saw was Miss South Africa as I was walking to the bar. Said Hello and we ended up chatting for some time. πŸ™‚ When it was time for the contestants to introduce themselves, everybody came out their point-and-shoot camera! Well… I put my 70-200mm lens on and people soon stopped getting in my way! πŸ˜‰ Long lenses are great sometimes!

The lighting wasn’t that great and I didn’t want my photos to obviously look like they Β were flash lit. So I ended up using ISO 800, 1/80 sec, F2.8 and the flash at -0.7 FEV.

My first few images weren’t that great because when the contestants were talking through the microphone giving their “save the world” speech, all I got was wired looking expressions. So I decided to shoot the contestants waiting to come on to the stage area. Nobody was shooting here and I instantly got much better results. And when the girls saw my long lens pointing straight at them, they often did a little pose or smile.

I also had the pleasure to meet with Miss Wales’s family. I spoke with them for quite a while and the evening was a joy.

Tonight (Day 55) is the main event. I’m trying to get a pass to be with the other photographers so wish me luck!

I don't normally do head shots, but I figured this worked. Notice how the -0.7 FEV didn't make the contestant look too obviously flash lit.

Miss England.

Miss Honduras.

Miss Japan.

Miss Korea.

Miss Mexico.

Miss Philippines.

Miss Scotland.

Miss South Africa who is from Durban.

A couple of nights ago I met Miss South Africa's parents.

Miss Thailand.

Close up of Miss Thailand. I used Lightroom's tone split adjustment to get this look.

Of course the drink at a cocktail party! πŸ˜‰

Yes... its me...

Miss Wales.

Miss Canada

Me with Miss England and Miss Wales. πŸ™‚

The winner of Miss Earth 2008.

Miss South Sudan is one of the tallest women I have ever seen!

Miss Thailand enjoying some of the finger snacks.

It was great to mingle with everybody...

Miss Thailand posing for me...

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In the afternoon, the Miss Earth contestants were wondering about the island… Here are a few frames. I attended the Miss Earth cocktail party in the evening… those images will be in another post.

Miss Venezuela.

Miss Mexico.


Everybody wanted photos of Miss Philippines! See all the mobile phones! πŸ˜‰


I can't remember which country this contestant represented...

Everybody wanted a photo with Miss Philippines.

I felt a little bit like a pappa razzi!

Not quite Miss Earth... but this is where my orange juice gets made daily!

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