Sunday, July 13, 2008

Mga Kabayan: Farl -- "Family" Contest Winner --Shares Some Valuable Photo Tips!

on the winning picture

I have several “family” shots, but this one brings it home the most. It makes me wistful. Too bad that it is almost impossible to make a self portrait like this for me, my wife and my daughter. Being the one behind the camera has its limits.

Phototip: Make the late afternoon sun work for you.
The silhouette technique is described in detail here.

Canon EOS 350D, 1/3200 s, f/5.6, 300 mm, ISO 100, +2/3 EV
uncropped, warmified, saturated, highlighted, sharpened
using picasa

Tibubeneng Beach, Canggu, Bali, Indonesia

As my profile has already been featured in the past, I will just present 3 favorite photographs.

1. Taken at the Mekong Delta where the giant river pours out of South Vietnam before joining the South China Sea. Depending on the season, the river rises and falls with the rushing volume of waters from its tributaries. Occasionally, the sea gets its revenge when tidal surges penetrate way deep inland. The river is so wide that it has numerous islands and some, like this one, have their own narrow riverine divides- a river within a river.

Phototip: To get a shot at a high angle, I stood up and planted my feet wide apart firmly at the side of the boat for balance. I had to be still or else I would unsettle the boat. Let’s say my companions almost freaked out.

Canon EOS 350D, 1/200s, f/5.6, 18 mm, ISO 400, +1/3 EV
uncropped, saturated, sharpened using picasa
Unicorn Island, the Mekong Delta, Vietnam


2. The second picture is also dangerous not to me but to my subject, my wife (we still were going out when I took this shot). The volcanic pool temperature was approaching 80 degrees, I think, so we did not even dare dip our hands. Dangerous, scalding and stinking with the stench of sulfur, this is the hottest spot of the Mambukal resort. The waters from this hot cauldron are pumped and diluted with cold spring water into nearby dipping pool and in the hot Ishikawa onsen baths, where temperatures are a soothing and comfortable 35 degrees centigrade. Hot steam spas are a feature of Mambukal which is saddled in the active volcano that is Mount Canlaon.

Phototip: We had to wake up early (dawn) to get a shot that shows off the steam playing against the heavy morning mist. In brighter light, the hot white steam would get lost.

Canon EOS 350D, 0.6 sec (3/5), f/22, 18 mm, ISO 400, -1/3 EV
uncropped, sharpened in picasa
Mambukal, Murcia, Negros Occidental, the Philippines


3. The last photo again involves water. The Balinese regularly bathe in the sacred waters of the 10th century Tirta Empul to heal their body and purify their mind, not to cool down or to hang out. The ritual includes offerings, prayers and blessings from the temple priests.

Phototip: Location, location, location. I claimed a stake at the narrow ledge of the pool just beside the first spout. I literally sat on my haunches as I mounted the tripod quite low and attached 2 ND filters so as to achieve long exposures even during the day. The worshippers who bathe a few feet in front of me then became fair game. I observed how long a bather would pause to determine the optimum exposure time and waited to get one singular subject come near me.

Tirta Empul
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, 13 s, f/32, 41 mm, ISO 100
uncropped, lightened slightly, shot with a stack of 2 ND 0.9 (8x) filters
Pura Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

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