An early halloween pic. This is Elaine channeling Sadako (from The Ring). Taken last year in Intramuros (repost).
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.
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.
The good thing about a photowalk in the city is you can photograph buildings. In Luneta and Intramuros, there are interesting buildings – buildings that are different from the skyscrapers of Makati.
Windows are always interesting. They provide an amazing contrast between light and dark and the different and mostly busy outside and serene inside. Sometimes, windows can just be interesting for the window itself.
Young people having a date on the wall of Intramuros
November 11, 2012
As a tourist spot and as a place with schools, commercial establishments and houses, Intramuros is full of people. Some are students, some are visitors (both locals and foreigners) and some are people living or working in the area. Because of this, the area is a very good spot for street photography.
For me, however, street photography is a fuzzy concept and the few pictures I take of strangers I would just call pictures of people rather than street photography. (I once posted two of these pics in a street photography group in facebook and a member told me that though the pictures are good, they are not street photography since they lack a story).
Manila Cathedral is a basilica inside Intramuros. It is the seat of the Catholic church in the Philippines where the Archbishop of Manila (the highest ranking Catholic official) in the country presides).
The church is modeled after European churches and is a beautiful edifice. It is the choice of many celebrities and powerful and rich people for celebrating special moments like weddings and baptisms (with a corresponding high fee and probably full schedule).
A special tidbit of information is that before being transferred to the Rizal monument, kilometer zero (KM 0) was previously measured from the cross on the church steeple. That’s how important this basilica is.
Last Sunday, we went to Intramuros for another photowalk and we took pictures of the exterior of the church. It was closed for renovations and I have yet to take a picture inside the church.
Manila Cathedral’s dome above the altar (left) * The arch above the church’s main door (above) * The church’s steeple (right) * The right side of the church.
The church is full of beautiful details that can be photographed given ample time and right camera/lens combination.
The church’s main door has several panels depicting various scenes, one of which is probably the first mass held in the Philippines in Limasawa, Cebu (below left). Other scenes could probably be from the Bible or other milestones in the history of Christianity. I think there are 8 or more panels on the doors but I was not able to photograph them all.
I wish to return to Manila Cathedral when the renovation is finished and I hope that it is now open for photographers. What wonders could the inside of this basilica hold.
On a side note, the Catholic Church in the Philippines is opposing the Reproductive Health Bill and is using the pulpit as a platform for voicing this opposition. The church here seems to be clinging to the antiquated notion of the Middle Ages.
For non-Filipino readers, the Philippines is currently one of the few countries in the world without divorce and the recent proposal to its (divorce) legalization would definitely have the priests spewing diatribes from the pulpit. The catholic church sure has many beautiful churches but I think it’s high time that it move forward to the 21st century.
No outdoor trip last weekend so we had an urban photowalk. Eman borrowed a mask which he will use on his housemates. In Fort Santiago, there is a small circular well and I asked Elaine to pose as Sadako (which she did very very well).
There is a small shrine in Intramuros which I finally chanced to be open to public. The windows opposite the small church provided a wonderful frame-on-frame for a picture.
August 13, 2011
After finishing shooting in Manila Zoo, we went to Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. Fort Santiago is a Spanish Fort where Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal, was incarcerated. It is located on the Pasig River side of Intramuros. Intramuros literally means within walls and during the Spanish era, this comprised the whole of Manila and where most of Spanish and wealthy indios (term Spaniards call Filipinos at that time) reside. Those who live outside the walls are the Chinese (who live in Quiapo) and peasants.
The famous gate inside Fort Santiago. This is a reconstruction of the original (which was destroyed during the WWII).
Details of the gate.
As they say, walking through Intramuros, particularly Fort Santiago, is a walk through the country’s Spanish colonial past. Fort Santiago highlights Rizal’s incarceration in it before he was shot in Bagumbayan (now Luneta Park). There is a statue of Rizal inside a ruin of a jail.
A date with destiny. My title for the statue of Rizal as he was getting ready to be shot to death.
From this ruin of a jail, there are brass footsteps representing Rizal’s footsteps as he walked to Bagumbayan to face the deathsquad. (History tells us that he was supposed to be shot with his back to the firing squad but at the last moment he turned around to face them.)
There is also a light and sound show highlighting some parts of Rizal’s life (up to his execution) but it was closed at the time we went there.
In addition to Rizal’s jail and the lights and sound show, you can also go to the part near Pasig River and see the fortifications (including old cannons).
Here are some other pictures taken inside Fort Santiago.
At this time, I just discovered the filters in Lightroom and was experimenting with them, hence, the filters used on this pictures.
It was a fun photowalk with my friend and I guess I learned a lot, not only in shooting but also in post-processing. I want to come back to Intramuros and visit other places (e.g., Manila Cathedral, Puerta Isabel, etc.) but I don’t have the time to schedule it yet as most of my weekends are spent on climbing mountains or going to beaches.
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This is my picture during our break. I found out that the Canon 100mm macro is a fine portrait lens, really sharp and deliverse amazing bokeh. The only thing is it’s too long on an APS-C camera but if space permitting, will deliver wonderful portraits.