september morn

Who would have thought that I would actually be up before sunrise on the first day of the last quarter of the year?  For one, I had this urge to try some long exposure shots.  I’ve done my research on the exact time to catch the sunrise, selected the location, set my alarm clock, and there I was.

The ND exposure calculator said 8 seconds.  Not enough.  16 seconds, not even close.  30 seconds and I can see a bright spot and faint shadows of my finger passing through the lens.  This shot was at 70 seconds and still wasn’t enough, but never mind.  There was something more interesting on the other side of the beach.

These fishermen just returned.  Five crew – 3 divers, 1 machinist/pilot and 1 compressor operator.

Their best diver, holding a flashlight wrapped with an inner tire tube to keep the batteries dry.  They stay underwater for as long as 4 hours, breathing through a plastic tube connected to an air compressor.

Spear guns, their tools of the trade.  The spears don’t fly off the guns, limiting their reach but also make it safer as these divers only have their flashlights to help them see in the dark.

A simple piece of wood tied together by rubber strips from inner tire tubes, more elastic rubber strips and motorcycle spokes fashioned into spears with barbs welded onto the tips.

After selling the catch of the day, the next order of business is to prepare food for lunch.  The pot is cleaned with sea water and sand.

The bonus catch that is set aside for later.  Cuttlefish goes well with coconut wine and long afternoon conversations.

These are the smaller fishes that are too small to be sold, and so are divvied among the crew.  Fishing trips average at about 4 trips a week, and when asked how much they earn each trip, the answer is:  “just enough to get by”.

Since everyone has gone for breakfast, it was time to head home and catch an early morning nap.  Just one more photo of this kid smiling for the camera.

This is my biggest catch of the day.  I have been looking for this for the longest time.  Instead of fishing poles, these are electrodes connected to a battery strapped onto the  “fisherman’s”  back.   (They are mostly farmers, catching fish on muddy rice paddies).  The fishes are flushed out of hiding and stunned with this contraption.

Today it’s all mudfish.  Shouldn’t expect any saltwater fish in these paddies.

Another shot of the sunrise without the cheap filter I bought from the home depot.  It was glass for a welding mask, which I miscalculated for a 10-stop ND filter.  It was more like a 14 stop ND filter, and is tinted green.  I should get myself a decent ND filter.  Using rubber bands to hold that piece of glass just doesn’t work.


There’s a photography convention next weekend in Cebu and I have already booked my flight.  There should be time to do a photo walk and I hope somebody will show me around.


31 thoughts on “september morn

      • One thing I wished I had put my photographic efforts into while visiting the Philippines (Many years ago) was to capture the Jeepney culture. It was a way of life I remember. I, for one, would enjoy that. Or perhaps a look at how ex US military have adapted to living the remainder of their lives in the PI after their service. I almost wonder how safe the island is now for the solitary photographer wandering the island. So many possibilities.

      • The Philippines is still, in general, a safe place except for some hot spots in the south. There are also petty crimes in most major cities, but that’s a given for most cities around the world. Going solo should be fine when proper precaution is taken. There are also many photography clubs who do regular photo walks, and you’d probably find a willing shooting buddy somewhere.

        Just recently National Geographic featured a film about the hospital in Clark air base. A ghost story, that is. There are ex military personnel who are still living in Angeles City.

  1. I’ll see you in Sept., there they are!! Mr. Uy with his excellent shots and narration. can’t help loving the whole set, but the first frame started it all. humming the song :):):)

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