Shooting Culebra Island with a Rugged P&S Camera
Culebra Island is a small island off Tambobong Beach in Dasol, Pangasinan. From Tambobong Beach, you can see it as a small island with whitish sand and four coconut trees (with lots of shrub around it). On the second day of the trip, we rented a boat to take us to Culebra Island. I have packed three lenses (10-22, Tamron 70-300 VC and Samyang 8mm fisheye) and the Panasonic TS3 rugged camera. Before we rode the boat, I went away for a while to buy some softdrinks and when I returned, they were already riding the boat that my DSLR (with the 15-85mm lens) was left on the tent. I only noticed that it was left when we were on the island.
I was extremely disappointed – first having to lug three lenses with no camera to shoot them on and because I’ll have to make do with a small-sensored rugged compact with very little chance of bokeh.
In a way, it turned out ok because I had to get creative with my shots (having no big sensored camera to rely on). I had to choose and set up my shots carefully.
Flowers and Plants
In addition to the four coconut trees there are shrubs and vines and other small plants in the island. The most ok subject for me are these small purple plants (which look like the flowers from kangkong). I took several shots all the while looking for a good flower (the one in the close up), group of flowers (the group of seven flowers) and others. I also made a staged shot using three flowers and a big white clam shell (below). There’s also the biggish shrub with vibrant green leaves and small grasses with flowers/seeds that would blow in the wind. Taking shots of this type of grass is a little bit of a challenge since it is almost impossible to separate the small flowers from the background. Good thing that the Panasonic TS3 has a good closeup ability (will focus down to 5cm or 1cm) so that the background is decently diffused.
Tried and Tested Wide Landscape Techniques
One thing I learned from using ultra-wide lens (Canon 10-22mm) is that in order to create interesting wide angle shots, there has to be an interesting foreground. In the island, this would mean rocks and corals so here they are. Waves could also work, as well as grasses. Forgoing the foreground and putting more of the sky is also a tried and tested technique.
Details, Details, Details… Mostly of Rocks and Corals
The rocks have beautiful textures and the Panny can take wonderful closeups. There is always sufficient depth of field but of course the details are not as good as those of shot with a macro lens.