Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Batanes – Diura Beach and Mahatao Lighthouse with Samsung Note 3

When we were in Batanes, I brought my Canon 7D plus two batteries (the one on the camera and another extra from my broken 60D).  I thought it would last the whole trip but on our last day in Batanes, the battery emptied and I am left without a camera.  As such, I was forced to use the camera on my Samsung Note 3.  I am aware that the cameraphone will have its limitation because of its much much smaller sensor and no raw capability.  But left without a choice, it is a good camera.


The battery of my camera emptied while we were on our way to Diura Fishing Village (I really don’t know what the important of this village is in the whole of Batanes as I didn’t listen to the lady at the registration booth).  The village is just a collection of some houses, rocky beach (which is probably a good place to do landscapes during sunset or sunrise).  Other than an octopus hung out to dry, I didn’t see much of interest in the village (in terms of cultural significance).

The beach, as I said, is rocky and it provide some nice enough subjects for landscape photos.

Some rocks (boulders) on the beach.

Note 3 has a 13 megapixel camera which is good enough for taking images, provided the light is not low (which would require high ISO) or that the image requires high dynamic range.  The photo above is a surprise to me when I loaded the picture to my desktop.  Good enough for an A4 (or probably bigger) print.

Another landscape photo.  As long as you don’t scrutinize detail, Note 3 takes good pictures.

Here are some more images I took in Diura Fishing Village.

A window shade made up of tied up reeds, yellow bamboo at the bottom.

Rocks at the beach * Mussel shells, which look like butterflies.


After Diura Fishing Village, our last stop was the Mahatao Lighthouse.  Nice lighthouse but we weren’t able to go inside and there is limited space to take pictures at different angles (the lighthouse is on top of a hill, with the side facing the sea located on a steep side of the hill).

Having a 28mm equivalent lens, Note 3’s camera is best used with a foreground object (such as the tree in the first picture).

A fallen tree provides foreground to a shot of the lighthouse.

Despite having a very small sensor, Note 3’s camera is still capable of providing out of focus areas, provided your subject is very close to the camera with the background sufficiently far behind. This capability is seen in the two photos below.

Lighthouse with grass in the foreground.  The phone is less than a foot from the grass to provide some shallow depth of field.

After that trip and on looking at the images at my desktop, I am really pleased with the pictures taken with Note 3.  I know that I can’t do much post-processing on these pictures but I was satisfied with how I composed these pictures.  I also took much less pictures but I am satisfied with most of them.  I guess it boils down to having only one focal length (so I must be much more mindful of my composition) and the awareness that whatever photo I took has to be more or less in its final form (limited post-processing can be done on the jpegs).


2 responses

  1. These photos look so beautiful, and to think you only used a camera phone. I am going to Batanes in a few months and this makes me look forward to my trip even more. Thanks for sharing!

    April 27, 2014 at 9:16 pm

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