Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunrise Moments

People can either be night owls or early birds. I’m definitely the latter. In high school, I did my schoolwork only at dawn as I preferred to sleep early in the evening. Waking up at 4AM never has been a problem. I never was one who had to be dragged by my parents to get up on my haunches. My own wakeup jolt was simply the cold bath. Like most Filipinos, we do not have heated plumbing!

The glory of muscle memory is that like clockwork, I still wake up around 5:30 AM. I even arranged for my work hours to start at 7AM so that I can leave early as well, at 3PM. When I took up photography, this habit turns out to be an advantage. Sunrises, like sunsets, are a natural draw to hobbyists. Colors could not be more spectacular and light could not be more soft.

Here are some of my sunrise moments I would like to share to you.

May 6, 2006, 6:15AM

Sunrises can be surreal. An overexposed long exposure shot can create dreamlike seascapes. Warmified to pink, the water appears like fog where the hut floats on.

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 25.0s, f/32, 38mm, ISO 100, +4/3EV (cropped)
huts on the sandbar of Manhuyod/Bais, Negros Oriental

April 21, 2006, 5:50AM

Occasionally, it is a daunting task to head out early for dawn shots. Places would generally be isolated so safety can be an issue. Not in Batanes though. It is a truly peaceful place. A backwater in terms of development but there lies its appeal too- it is a rustic idyll settled in its own pace and time.

Basco port
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 0.50s, f/22, 22mm, ISO 100
Basco port, Batanes, the northernmost province of the Philippines

Oct 21, 2006, 5:39AM

The photo was taken when sunrise was still about 20 minutes away. The beach was dark, empty but no less hospitable. I already took a picture of this lifeguard station with my point and shoot several years ago with my point and shoot and I just felt like retaking it with my dSLR. In the latest version, the hut came out like a lamp in the absence of scale reference. I think, my wife – then my girlfriend – captured a better version with her prosumer camera!

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1.00s, f/14.0, 30mm, ISO 100
Geger Beach, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia- my version

bali - before sunrise @ nusa dua
my wife’s version

an old 2004 point and shoot version

Oct 23, 2006, 5:40AM

Two days later, I was at it again and of course, I dragged my wife with me too. We went to Pura Bias Tugel in an isthmus like projection in Nusa Dua Beach. In the runners’ promenade, I lurked around to catch silhouettes of joggers but I my timing was shot. As the sunrise was fast approaching, I had my wife walk in front of me and produced this sexy shot. Yes, I am biased!

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 1/125s, f/5.6, 46mm, ISO 200, -2/3 EV
my wife at Pura Bias Tugel, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

March 19, 2007, 5:25AM

Sunrises offer unbelievable colors, even without any post-processing. Here is an early morning shot of the eastward facing bay in Maria, Siquijor, straight out of the camera. I had to bump up the exposure to enhance the mirror quality of the still waters.

Canon EOS 350D Digital, 2.5s, f/22, 55mm, ISO 100, +4/3EV (as-is, no post-processing)
Maria, Siquijor, the Philippines

November 11, 2007, 5:28AM

One time in 2006, I was spending a lazy dawn photoshoot in Geger Beach when I noticed that a lot of people were flocking in the beach rather early. I belatedly learn that it was the celebration of Banyu Pinaruh, an auspicious date to cast away offerings and ritually bathe in the sea. As I failed to capture the rites in 2006, I made it a point to catch it last year. It must have been so cold to take a dip in the beach that early in the morning!

Banyu Pinaruh
Canon EOS 350D Digital, 8.0s, f/13, 18mm, ISO 200, +2/3EV
the Banyu Pinaruh ritual, Geger Beach, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia

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