Traveller, Photographer, Mountaineer, Human

Posts tagged “Insects

Tingloy Above the Sea

Previous post, I posted some underwater pics from Tingloy.  This time, everything’s above the sea.

This one is of Sombrero Island. It is located at the tip of Tingloy (where we had to go around). Up until yesterday I didn’t know that this is the Sombrero Island that people go to.  I kinda like the conversion to black and white but raw would have been a lot better.  Some of the sky shows pixelation due to changing luminosity of the blue to darker.

As with most compact cameras, it does a pretty good close up, better than most compacts in fact.  Except that I haven’t push it to the limits.  Here are some closeups of plants and small critters.





All in all, I like the Olympus TG2. Wide aperture requiring lower ISO, decent sharpness, great colors (which can be too much at times). I also like Tingloy better but I don’t think I’m coming back soon. More beaches to explore and I just wish they’ll clean the beach. It destroys the place as a destination.


Random Photos: Insects of Cagbalete

I’ve always liked taking close up pictures.  When I first bought my first SLR (60D which was broken due to seawater), my first non-kit lens was a 100mm macro lens.  Anyway, here are two close ups of insects – a butterfly (or probably a moth due to the hairs on the wings) and a dragonfly (possibly a damselfly).  Taken with OM-D and 12-50mm lens.  With the closeup capabilities of most kit lenses (.2x – .37x), I’ve barely brought the macro lens when I go out.

Some More of Vigan

Last February, my family and I visited Vigan.  My second time there and their first.  Here are some of the pictures taken there.

Clay Jars

Taken in the pottery business in Vigan.  These are jars made in the barn and are just stored outside.  I love the light falling on the jars and the way the jars are arranged (or not arranged).  [Olympus OM-D + 12-50mm]

Portrait of a Tiger

This was taken in Gov. Chavit Singson’s Baluarte.  He is the most famous tiger there (I think named Romy or something).  When it was still a tiger cub, visitors can have their photo taken while nursing the tiger cub (with milk).  When we visited, he is the only tiger not in a cage (but with thick metal chains).  [Canon 7D + Tamron 70-300mm VC].


Taken again in Singson’s Baluarte.  Maya is a common bird here in the Philippines.  The tree is beside an orange wall (part of a structure) and the orange wall provides a nice background (blends well with the color of the birds).  [Canon 7D + Tamron 70-300mm VC].

Singson’s Baluarte has a butterfly enclosure and this is one of those butterflies.  Shot with the Canon 7D and Tamron 70-300mm VC (love this lens as it can do close ups with a long working distance – will never beat the 100mm macro though).

My beautiful niece and my father.

Both of these pictures were taken inside the Sy Quia mansion – a must-visit site in Vigan.  It displays the grandeur of a rich life during our colonial past.  My niece was imitating one of the statues/sculpture in the house.  The shot of my father is taken inside the house’s  dining room.  The large open windows, color of the walls and wood and the reflected light from the red roof beside the house (outside the windows) provides beautiful light for taking portraits.  [Olympus OM-D + 12-50mm].

My brother and his youngest some * Looking at souvenir items.

My youngest nephew seems to have changed from last year.  Last year, he was the one who was always in front of the camera smiling and making cute poses.  Now, he’s the one holding a camera (an Olympus bridge camera) and is not too keen on being photographed.  Calle Crisologo is the main attraction of Vigan – a street full of old houses, most of which are now stores selling souvenirs (the lower part of the houses as old houses use the lower floor for storage or a garage).  [Olympus OM-D + 12-50mm].

Family Picture.

Yes we have a souvenir uniform tshirt which we wore on our second day there.  My two older nephews did not come with us.  I’ve also gained a lot of weight in a span of a year (I’m the fat guy in the left).  [Olympus OM-D + 12-50mm].

Macro Shooting with OM-D and 12-50mm

I just got my Olympus OM-D last Wednesday night and of course I was itching to take it for a photowalk.  Today, Eman and I went to Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Reserve in Quezon City for a photowalk.

I don’t know the full capabilities of the OM-D yet and I’m not yet familiar with all of the cameras function.  As a matter of fact, I don’t know how to go to manual focus yet (unlike DSLRs where there is a AF/MF switch on the lens).  This is basically the first time that I use the camera other than for test shots in the house and office.

Macro Shooting

One of the features of the OM-D’s kit lens (12-50mm) is a special macro mode that goes to .37x magnification.  This is not a true macro mode but it is very useful.

I’m a big macro shooter and even with my previous kit lens, I’ve done many closeup shots.

My Canon 7D + the 100mm macro (non-L) makes very very good close up shots.  Very contrasty, very detailed.

But, my canon macro setup is very bulky and heavy… and it has no IS.

With the Olympus setup, I give on the details and aperture (f6.0 at the special macro mode at 43mm compared to f2.8 of the 100mm macro lens).  However, aside from the bulk and weight, I gain a lot of things.  First of all, image stabilization!  Shooting macro requires a very very firm hand and the OM-D’s in-body image stabilization works.  Second, the smaller  sensor of the m4/3 increases depth of field, quite necessary in close up shots.

The colors and contrast of the Olympus setup is also very contrasty and vibrant.  I shoot raw and convert to JPEG in Adobe Lightroom, mainly by using auto tone then adjusting to taste.  I’m not sure if the color and contrast is due to the Olympus sensor/lens setup or due to Lightroom adjustments.

Anyway, here are the closeup pictures I took on my first photowalk with the Olympus.

Photowalk: Plants, Sculptures, Reflections and Others


Plants and flowers are probably my most favorite things to photograph.  They have different colors and textures and usually results in beautiful bokeh due to the close up nature of the pictures.  Even though I take pictures mostly on my outdoor trips, a photowalk in a park is most welcome as there are some beautiful plants that are not found on my outdoor trips.

Sculptures and Artworks

Parks are a good place to find sculptures. The bad thing is that many of the sculptures “littering” the parks are the “modern” variety and not the good kind – too abstract and poorly made. Luckily, those that we found in Fort Santiago are nice. More fortunately, there is an ongoing exhibition of some sculptures, including a multimedia piece of astronaut looking sculptures with TV for heads (not very original I know) with a short film being shown in the TV heads.

Fiberglass statues of priests inside the Fort (above left and right) * A sculpture in display as part of an exhibition (above center)

Astronaut looking multimedia pieces inside the Rajah Sulayman Theater

Sculptures in Luneta – a depiction of the seeds of revolution, “Soul Waves”, and something like Brothers-in-Arms


Reflections is a very common photographic technique.  I find that reflections are best found on calm waters, especially when the water is dark or very shallow and the sun is bright.  In Intramuros, there is a small waterway between the main park and the Fort itself.  This reflects the walls as well as the tall buildings around the park.


Below is a picture of puppets (a lion and a bird) which are controlled like a marionette.  They were being sold by a not-so-nice man (he was not very nice to Elaine who was taking his picture).  The other picture is a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) inside the park.  I believe that this is not how kalesas in the past here looked like and I guess the reason they used this design is that it accommodates more people than the traditional kalesa designs.

A Weekend in the Province

Some pictures I took last Thursday and Friday in our family home in Lopez, Quezon.

I realize that I take too much pictures.  I must decide whether to continue or reduce the number of pictures I take.

Random Photo: Dragonfly and Butterfly

Two photos taken (again) last weekend using the Tamron 70-300mm.  The Tamron is an amazing lens (focusing is sometimes an issue). With this lens, I don’t need to bring my 100mm macro for closeups (though of course magnification is limited to .25x instead of 1:1). The resolution of the lens is not as good as the macro lens (with the macro lens, I can pixel peep and still see lots of details). BUT, the Tamron has IS (or VC in its terms) and the long minimum focus distance is very good for photographing insects.

Tamron 70-300 VC Close Ups

As of Thursday last week, I have 6 lenses for my Canon (15-85, 18-135, 10-24, 50mm 1.4, 100mm macro and 8mm fisheye).  Last Friday, I bought a Tamron 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 Di VC USD.

I’ve been looking for a telephoto zoom for quite sometime.  I’ve considered the Canon 100-400mm (still a dream) but it was very expensive.  A Sigma 150-500mm but it was large, still expensive and not readily available (have to pre-order).  I searched and found Tamron 70-300 at reasonable prices in two variants!  One was the 70-300 non-VC MACRO.  It goes to a magnification of 1:2 but it has a micromotor drive (noisy) and no image stabilization but it’s very cheap.  The other one which I bought is the VC version with ultrasonic drive (USD) but the macro capabilities go down to 1:4.

I tested it this weekend in Burot Beach and I was very very surprised.  The image quality at 300mm is good, color is amazing!!! (punchy and not washed out like my other zoom lenses).  The long minimum focus distance (1.5m) is also very far so this would be good for photographing shy insects (haven’t tested this much though).  Eventhough the lens has a maximum aperture of 5.6 at 300mm, the long focal length gives serious bokeh at this setting (even at f8) if used on close subjects.  The color and contrast at 300mm f5.6 is already good but stopping down to f8 boosts contrasts to very good levels.  The only fly in the ointment for me is that the focusing at 300mm and f5.6 is not great (maybe my error or lens error).

Anyway, here are the pics and hope you enjoy them.

Baguio, City of Flowers

Baguio City is not known as the City of Flowers for nothing.  Due to its high elevation and cool climate, it is home to many flowers.

I take a lot of pictures of flowers and I wouldn’t pass up a chance to do this in Baguio.  So here are the pics and enjoy!

Blue fly on a yellow flower.

Some pink fruit that looks like very tiny mangosteen.

The Christmas flower, Poinsettia.

Orange flowers from a plant that sort of looks like a squash.

A pink-purple mum-looking flower, the yellowed leaf of the squash-like plant and an intense orange flower with red at the tips.

My favorite flower, stargazer lily.

A rather ordinary yellow flower.

Purple hydrangaea.

One Weekend in September

September 21-23, 2012

Mother’s Birthday

Last Friday was the 60th birthday of my mother so my weekend started early.

My mother with her “cake” (she didn’t want a cake and wanted several cupcakes) * My father.

My dogs – Kylie (white shih tzu), King (black shih tzu) and Hector Krzysztof (labrador) * My niece and sister.

I didn’t take much of the usual pictures in the province (macro, et al) – very few.  Here are just two of these “serious” artsy-fartsy photos.




“Artificial Landscape”

This is a shot of our ceiling that is edited to form a landscape (with the shadows as mountain and the upper and lower parts edited through white balance temperature).










Dog Tick.

A tick from my labrador.  Not the best pic and would have been better if magnification is more than 1x (MP-E 65mm, you’re in my future plans).











Malling with Eman and Faiz

Saturday night I went back to Makati and on Sunday, it is malling time with Eman and his expat workmate, Faiz.

Colorful things on sale.


Eman (goofing off) and me * Faiz trying on a pair of shoes.