The last time we went to Laiya was a disaster. As I wrote here in a past post, we went around 2 days after a storm, which we found out was a BAD idea. There was garbage and muck floating everywhere, and finding even a small patch of clear water was an impossibility. There were plastic bags, tsinelas, plastic bottles, lots of siltation, and even the smell was a bit sewer-y. It also rained early evening, and it didn’t stop until around 4am, which basically spelled party over for any evening plans. Plus, there was a sea urchin incident in very shallow water the next morning, which put an early end to the holiday. This time around was the complete opposite. The weather was BEAUTIFUL. It felt like summer all over again. And the water was gorgeous. It was clean and it was clear as crystal. Like I said, the sand in Batangas is far from powdery, but it didn’t matter, as long as the water was clear.
Of course with water as clear as that, my best friend for the trip was my waterproof camera, the Canon D10. Although the beach consisted of barren sand, we found a stretch of coral in the far end, where a decent amount of fish could be seen. It was then I realized how difficult it was to attempt to shoot fish underwater, while snorkeling. Underwater photography is a cinch while diving is a cinch because you can control your buoyancy in the water with your BCD. But while snorkeling (and wearing only a mask w/o a snorkel), it’s a real bitch. I’d be gasping for air every 15-30 seconds, I’d be rolling in the water like a floating wayward beach ball, and I’d be thrashing about trying to steady myself for a good angle, which ended up scaring the fish anyway. So most of my shots were blurred or badly framed. But surprisingly, a handful still came out decent. Here are some of them:
Pufferfish (the delicious but sometimes deadly fugu)
Juvenile Tall-Fin Batfish
Anemonefish or Clownfish
There was also a shot that I was trying so hard to get. Usually, you need a special lens to be able to capture a shot of both out of water and underwater scenes in one frame. But you can fake it using any waterproof camera. After many tries, here’s an approximation of this really cool shot. It would be cool if there was a shark underwater. 🙂
We also found the cutest tiniest toy car on the beach. It looked like a twiddlebug car lost in the sand dunes of the desert.
The weekend was spent mostly swimming, baking under the warm sun, playing DSi and PSP, and sleeping. It was a relaxing weekend, one that I badly needed for quite some time. I was having a difficult August, so I really needed a literal and figurative break.
Even on our way home, we were still given a treat. It was a spectacular sunset that saw us off, as we drove home. It was so beautiful that we just had to stop along the Star Tollway, pulled over at the shoulder, just to get a snapshot of the twilight sky. There were cars and buses and trucks whizzing dangerously close, but I just had to take a shot. The setting sun splashed light and collor on the side of Mt. Makiling and also painted the sky on the other side with patches of bright orange. It was painful seeing this without my DSLR and my filters. Why can’t we have sunsets like this when we have our landscape shoots?
A view from the other side
It was a lovely weekend. A little pocket of peace and quiet. If we had more of these, we’d be a happier, healthier bunch of campers.