I was doing some research recently and decided to see what the small island of Olango had to offer because of its proximity to Cebu. I knew the island had a bird sanctuary that is a popular birding destination, but I wanted to see what else the island might have to explore. While searching through some photos I noticed one image of a women standing next to a giant pile of starfish. The image was striking to me because I had never seen so many dead starfish before. I started to dig a little deeper and was able to find that one barangay in Olango island is known to export seastars, shells, urchins and sand dollars. I decided to go and have a look because I couldn’t believe that starfish in this amount could be harvested and sold. For what? I was thinking.
I spent last week with the folks from Baptist World Aid Australia and Share an Opportunity Philippines (SAO) working on an assignment in Panay and Negros Islands. SAO has a number of programs here in the Philippines focusing primarily on community development using a holistic approach. It sounds complicated, but the basic idea is that in order to improve a child’s life you have to improve all aspects of the community that influence that child.
The town of Donsol in Sorsogon is agreeably more known for the whale sharks that abound in the area. However, it is hard not to notice as well these men scattered out in the water during sundown with their big, wide nets. They are ‘shrimp farmers’ – fishermen collecting shrimp by dragging the net at the bottom of the ocean and sorting through the algae by lifting the huge thing up to their waist. On their backs are plastic containers where they throw the shrimp in. They do this for a few hours, going back and forth, and in one evening, they can harvest one to two kilos of mid-sized shrimp.
Winter is officially here and what a great way to start the season…with a lunar eclipse on a clear, cold night. The snow and cold weather has been a nice change for me and I’m looking forward to getting out and enjoying it during the next few days. I have been getting on and off fishing boats for the past six weeks and I finally have a few days off to enjoy the snow and outdoors. I believe some cross country skiing will be first on my list of fun activities. I’ll be heading back out to sea from Dutch Harbor the day after Christmas, which means my time in Alaska is winding down. Well…a couple of more months here and then back to tropical Cebu.
I’m back in Dutch Harbor after being out at sea for the past month and a half. I have been observing on long-line commercial fishing vessels fishing for Pacific Cod in the Bering sea. It was a long time out and I must say it’s nice to be back on land. I wanted to share some more images from this beautiful part of the world where bald eagles and rainbows can be found on any ordinary day. I had some great shooting days before I left to sea last month. Now the weather in Dutch is getting cold and windy and its hard to stay outside for very long.
I arrived into Dutch Harbor, Alaska yesterday after spending the last month in Anchorage. I am doing a short term job working as a fisheries observer aboard commercial fishing vessels here, and will be off on a long-liner fishing for Pacific Cod in the next day or two. Many of you may be familiar with Dutch Harbor from the TV show the “Deadliest Catch.” It’s a small fishing port town in the middle of the Aleutian Islands where most vessels fishing in the Bering Sea unload their catch. I’ll be working here for the next few months with plans to be back in Cebu by the end of November.
I recently returned back from a ten day trip to Mindanao earlier this week. The second half of my trip took me to the southern part of Mindanao, mostly in the Soccsksargen region (This name is an acronym that stands for the region’s four provinces and one of its cities: South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City). It was my first time to travel to this part of the Philippines and I don’t know why I waited so long to visit.
I have been working on an environmental outreach project the past few days in Bayabas, a municipality in Surigao del Sur, Mindanao. I was invited to come here and photograph their mangroves and other coastal vegetation for a local photo exhibit. This public exhibit will be used to help educate residents about the importance of their mangroves and coastal resources.
I recently read Andrew Gibson’s ebook on The Magic of Black and White and got inspired to work on a few images of my own this week. I don’t do too many black and white conversions with my photos, but with some images it really creates a beautiful impact. Andrew’s ebook is a very good read and he gives his straight forward approach to black and white conversion and split toning images. Split toning is something new to me as I usually only add color to my black and white images with Photoshop’s color filters. I like the results of the split toning methods he shows in this ebook.
Wherever I travel I often find myself photographing local markets. I find a great amount of life and energy in markets and I think that’s the main reason I’m drawn to them. The high energy mixed with the variety of people/personalities and colors usually makes local markets a must place for me to photograph when in a new location. Aside from being good photographic locations, I love trying new foods, smelling new smells (and not all are pleasant), and enjoy watching the daily life of people all around me. It still amazes me that to many people these markets are their way of life. This is what they do day in and day out, whether it be selling vegetables or gutting fish. It still humbles me.
I’ve recently signed up for a PhotoShelter Personal Archive account. I have been wanting to do this for some time now and finally made it a point. For the past month I have been uploading images to my new account and adjusting to my newly improved workflow. Only after a month of working with Photoshelter its painful to look back at all the work I used to do on my old website.
I have been shooting a lot of panoramas lately, experimenting with what works and looks best. I have used Photoshop’s photomerge for a long time now and have always found it to be useful. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago, when I was visiting my dad, did I try photomerge on his computer using CS3. I was amazed at the quality that was produced compared to what I generally get with CS2. I created about fifteen different panoramas while I was visiting my dad (all of the inside of his house), all with Photoshop’s photomerge, and only one of them didn’t come out perfect with its alignment.
I am always looking at other photographers images to help me stay grounded and get inspired. I came across a couple of photographers sites in the past few months that I wanted to share. The first is the work of Mitchell Kanashkevich. Mitchell is a travel photographer from Australia and the way he uses light [...]
I have recently been experimenting with some different post-processing techniques and I would like to share two of my images here. Generally, I do not do a lot of post-processing. I want my images to reflect what I saw (capturing the light, mood and subject of the photo) and not have the image look like [...]
Finding the right wedding photographer for your big day is an important part of your wedding and preparation. A wedding photographer will work closely with the bride and groom before and especially during the wedding day. For this reason, it’s important to feel comfortable and confident with your photographer so he/she can capture your special [...]
This morning I was called out of the house to look at a rainbow. To my surprise it was a circular rainbow wrapping around the sun. This was the first time I have ever seen this and so I took some pictures and did a little research. Apparently, this phenomenon is called a sundog. These [...]
PRESS RELEASE: Humanity Photo Awards (HPA) 2009 This is Yang from China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA), organizer of the Humanity Photo Awards (HPA), the ONLY worldwide folklore photo contest. It is aimed to everyone who loves folkore cultures. This year, HPA is co-organized with the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Comittee (GUAGOC) and UNESCO. In addition [...]
The more I find myself in front of the computer, the more I want to be away from it doing something else. Particularly, being out in the field and taking photographs or spending more time with my kids. Let’s face it though, if your images are left to sit on your hard drive; is it [...]
After a few months of planning and organizing I finally sent off around 1500 slides and negatives to be digitally scanned. I feel relieved, but anxious at the same time to see the final digital images which will eventually be added to my stock gallery. These images are mostly from my travels to Latin America, [...]
(Update 2012: I have a newer tutorial on editing underwater photos which can be seen on Light Stalking’s website) This is short tutorial to show you how I make quick edits to some of my underwater photos. Most underwater pictures will have a green or cyan color cast that needs to be removed and light/detail [...]