Archive for December, 2009

I decided to do the first part of the PADI diving course called Discover Scuba Diving (DSD). I went down to the Calypso Diving Centre and got Phil (whom I took photos of his child) to be my instructor. I did the pool exercises okay and then went off to do an open water dive. We went down 6 meters and it was awesome! I must admit that once I started thinking about all the water above me, I felt I needed to go up to the surface. Had a chat with Phil and we went down again. I can see why diving is so popular around the world.

Anyway, after the dive, I headed over to Samba to take photos of the new owners at sunset and a couple of pics of the bar.

I asked one of the waitresses to stand where the sunset was shining light and took this image.

Brady, one of the new owners of Samba. The bar name will most likely change...

Brady and Shawn. Dylan the 3rd owner wasn't around as he was on company business.

Taken just in front of Samba. ISO 800, 1/30 sec, F1.8.

Hmm... let's sit down and have a beer shall we...

I love that late evening blue sky...

Come on... let's have a beer! 😉

A wider shot of the previous photo.

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I decided to take a boat ride up and down the island and see the beach with the golden colours of the sunset. This day was perfect and I was out at 4:30pm for an hour and all I did was shoot with my camera… as well as enjoying the boat trip of course!

Just got on the boat and we're off on the trip...

Willy's island. I used my polarising filter.

The water is so warm and nice here.

I've had a massage under the hut you see on the beach. The first time I had a massage here, I started with an hour massage and then I was so relaxed, that I did another hour 😉 If you look closely, you can see the masseurs on the left side of the hut.

The boat captain taking me around the island. He was good to slow down so I could take pictures in relatively clam conditions.

A typical scene along the beach. At this side of White Beach, the sand is like powder and is totally amazing!

You may remember a photo I took on day 66 where there were some stairs leading down to the water. If you look closely on the left side of this photo you can see the stairs. This is part of the West Cove resort on Diniwid beach.

This is a reminder of the image I talked about in the previous photo. The boat was just past the rock you see on the right part of the photo.

Feel fortunate to be here to spend time on the island looking at sights like this.

The same place and you can just see the stairs going into the water. Seeing the golden colours of the sunset hitting the beach is one of the things I wanted to capture.

This is at a secluded spot further up the island.

Can you imagine staying here...

Sail boats taking tourists on a sunset sail. Similar to what I did the previous week.

The beach front on our way back... The places you see in the right half of the photo are really good places to party!!

The boat captain mooring up on the beach. The hour trip is over.

Other boats also mooring up...

The boat I was in is right where the sun is.

A close up of the boat I was in... literally heading into the sunset 😉

I headed to the Samba bar and took this photo of Jane. Samba has just been sold to 3 New Zealanders aged, 19, 22 & 25.

Later on at Samba was live music. I got one of the new owners to hold the flash and laid on the beach looking up to take this photo. ISO 800, 1/20 sec, F4.

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Another couple on the island asked if I would take photos of their child… Here is a small selection of the photos.

Jasmine with her mother, Tess.

I love Lightroom's split toning feature! You can really control the look of B & W photos.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F2.8.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F2.8.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F4.0. I normally shoot this kind of shot at F2.8 as you can see in the previous 2 frames. This was at F4 for a little more depth of field.

Phill and Tess were great in helping to get the expressions from Jasmine!

I love the way Jasmine hand is out and she appears to be saying something.

I tired different types of angles. This time, I was on the floor looking up.

Now it was time to change the dress to help keep this collection of photos fresh.

The B & W version of this photo worked well too! ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F6.3.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F6.3. I normally would have shot this at F4.

I just love Jasmine's expression and her hands! Another shot I would have taken at F4, but stopped down a bit to F6.3.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F7.1. Now I'm really wanting to see what happens when we have a lot more depth of field. I think this shots works. I think at F4, Phil may have been a bit too out of focus.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F5.6. I like this image as Tess is engaged with the camera and Jasmine is laughing and looking very happy.

ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F5.6. I love this image! There's so many ways to read this photo. All these baby photos were done between 7-9pm at night and I used a single Canon 508EX II speedlite with a 43" shoot through umbrella.

After the baby shoot, I saw a portion of the wall in Phil's apartment and knew I had to do something with it! Got both my flashes out and asked Tess to pose.

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I decided it was time to do a sunset sail… I was expecting to be able to take pictures, but I discovered I had to sit on the thin boom which is about 1.5 feet above the water when sailing. Too risky and my camera isn’t a Canon EOS 1D!

The sail was extremely peaceful and was amazed at how fast the boat could glide through the water. As your going along, you can see the coral beneath you…

Here are a few pics I took after the hour of sailing.

This is the boat I was on. I sat on the boom...

Unfortunately, there was probably too many clouds 😦

Another sail boat wrapping up for the day.

This shows the threatening clouds!

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While I’ve been on the island I’ve met up with some great folks! One of them, Andy, asked me if I could take some photos of his new born baby. I agreed and we finally setup a day to do the shoot. Andy lives here on Boracay and has been here for over 2 years so far…

This is my 3rd baby shoot and I’ve now got a fairly repeatable technique. Photographing Bali was quite challenging for me. She is only 2 weeks old and getting her attention was not the easiest thing to do. Here are a few images from the shoot…

I like this kind of shot because of the softness of the image.

Bali with her Mother, Angela.

Bali being fed by Angela.

I like the closeness of this photograph.

Little Bali in the arms of her mother.

I took these images with flash and camera in manual mode.

I love the position of Bali's little hands! I wish I had taken this frame slightly lower.

Angela changed Bali's outfit into a newly purchased dress.

Feeding time again...

I love taking these kinds of shots where the mother and father are interacting with their child.

I always like to show how small those little hands are!

I just like this photograph...

Family group shot... Bali was getting tired at this point in the shoot. I processed some of the others in Black & white which also worked.

My last photo...

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Day 71 – Puka Beach

Today I decided to head over to Puka Beach on the far side of the island. It has a more deserted feel compared to all the other beaches… one of the reasons for this is that the water currents are much stronger and not really suitable for swimming in. I remember the last time I was on this beach… it was Christmas Eve 2005. A group of us wondered how different things would be on Christmas Eve back home!

I met a Korean on Puka Beach who had some nice camera gear. I lent him my polarising filter and he was delighted with the results!

The couple in this shot are Korean. You often see Korean couples wearing the exactly same clothing outfit.

A sail boat heading off to White Beach.

I just love my polarising filter!!! The blue's in this picture are real and I've not messed with them. The only thing I did to this image was apply a little punch which means a little brightness and contrast. ISO 200, 1/200 sec, F9, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

Some corral stuck on a branch. This is actually part of the Puka Beach sign.

The Puka Beach sign...

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Today I decided to try again and practice shooting basket ball. It is difficult to capture the action shots with the ball in frame. The ball moves around the court a lot faster than you imagine! I’ve also hit the 50,000 frame count on my camera! Another 50,000 and I’ll have to send my camera in for servicing…

ISO 200, 1/1250 sec, F2.8, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

ISO 200, 1/800 sec, F2.8, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

ISO 200, 1/1000 sec, F2.8, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

ISO 200, 1/800 sec, F2.8, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

ISO 200, 1/2000 sec, F2.8, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

ISO 200, 1/3200 sec, F2.8, Aperture Priority, +0.3EV.

Today's sunset. I took this while sitting on a nice comfortable chair and having a foot massage on a balcony. ISO 250, 1/60 sec, F22, Manual Mode, roughly -1EV on the camera's exposure meter.

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I decided to wonder around with my camera at night and shot some natural light shots of some of the places I go to or pass by everyday. Doing this with my 24-105mm F4 lens is pretty much a waste of time. The lens is just too slow for night time shots. So I put on my 28mm F1.8 prime lens. This gave me a 2 stop advantage and set my camera to -1EV. Even with these settings, my shutter speed at times was still very slow. I also found it quite exciting using a prime lens. You have to move around a lot and it makes the process of taking photos quite enjoyable! Doesn’t make you so lazy with a zoom lens. All the shots were with automatic white balance.

The swimming pool area where my apartment is locatd (at OneMGM). ISO 800, 1/15 sec, F1.8.

The 2nd pool at OneMGM.ISO 800, 1/25 sec, F1.8.

Calypso Diving is pretty much the main diving place on the island. There are many others diving businesses all over the island, but this is the only one that is National Geographic certified.ISO 800, 1/40 sec, F1.8.

Another bar & restaurant...ISO 800, 1/50 sec, F1.8.

The Nigi Nigi bar. ISO 800, 1/30 sec, F1.8.

This looks like a heart to me! ISO 800, 1/5 sec, F1.8, 0EV.

There are music bands all along White Beach. ISO 800, 1/80 sec, F1.8.

There are restaurants all along White Beach. ISO 800, 1/60 sec, F1.8.

This playground is at the centre of an entertainment & shopping area called D'Mall.ISO 800, 1/50 sec, F1.8.

The Nigi Nigi bar from another angle. ISO 800, 1/20 sec, F1.8.

The bar at OneMGM on the beach front.ISO 800, 1/80 sec, F1.8.

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I decided at the last minute to go to the top of Mount Luho to photograph the sunset from there. When you see the sunset everyday, it always amazes me how quickly the sunset disappears. At the moment the sun starts to set about 4:50 pm. I stopped a tricycle at 5:05 pm and told him that I wanted to go to Mount Luho for the sunset. I offered him 250 pesos (which is a little on the high side) and he agreed very quickly with his accelerator! Man, I’ve never covered so much ground in such a quick time on the island!! I got to Mount Luho at 5:16 pm. Then I ran up the stairs which seem to go on for eternity and eventually got to the highest platform at 5:20 pm. I quickly got my camera out and started taking a few frames. By 5:25 pm the sun had gone.

The view from the highest point on Boracay.

The view across the island.

The sun disappeared about 5 seconds after this frame.

A few more random frames from around the island…

ISO 320, 1/1250 sec, F2.8, polarising filter.

The next frame after the previous image.

I love this frame as it looks like the kite boarder is riding on top of the splash! ISO 320, 1/2000 sec, F2.8, polarising filter.

I have a totally new respect for sports photographers! I tried shooting some basket ball and it is very difficult.

Shooting something like this you really need 2 cameras! There are many moments where you need wide angle and telephoto images.

I will try harder to get better images next time...

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Today I wondered over to another beach on the island called Diniwid. Its a very small beach but it is thoroughly charming! Earlier in my tour here I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Wales’s family. They wrote to me on this blog and suggested a lovely place called West Cove and to have their ice tea with crushed ice with lemon inside. Wow!!!! This has to be one of the most refreshing ice tea drinks I have ever had!! Totally worth coming to Boracay for… 😉

West Cove is a beautiful resort on the hill side of the beach. I’ll let the pictures tell the story…

My first frame at the West Cove Bar near the water and overlooking the Diniwid beach..

From the same location as the above shot, but looking outwards towards the sea.

How would you like to use these stairs to snorkel in the water below? 😉

Or lay on this large chair?

This is the ice tea with crushed ice with lemon inside!

Looking further out to sea from the edge of the West Cove hill side resort.

Evidence I was there! 😉

Here you can see the resort from the water line going up the hill.

A table overlooking the sea under a grass hut.

The West Cove bar and table area from above.

Back on Diniwid beach... about to leave...

As I've been wondering around White Beach, I always wanted to blog this resort's name! I love it! Imagine filling out your immigration arrival form with a name like this! "Nigi Nigi Nu Noos 'e' Nu Nu Noos"! Elsewhere on White Beach there is "Nigi Nigi Too"

Okay... sorry.. another sunset from today...

People on the beach just hanging out...

A Sailing boat taking down their sails.

I stopped by the Red Pirates bar tonight. I met the owner the other night in Rumba's.

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