We have a little group of photo buddies we’ve christened Fourground, mainly due to our love of landscape photography. We even ventured (some say dared) to hold an exhibit of our landscape and travel pictures in January of 2008. But 2009 wasn’t a very productive year for us, photo-wise, and so we skipped the idea of having a follow-up exhibit last year. One of us, Greg, was preparing for his wedding (yihee!). While a vicious typhoon season dampened any hopes of a prolific season, as well as another one of us, Lennie, was affected by typhoon Ondoy. Fritzie went to Canada for a long vacation, and I was too busy with work and other stuff.
Plus, as a group, we went into some sort of creative crisis, the details of which I will leave out, since it involves other “factors”. So we put photography in the dustbin for most of last year, almost like an LQ with the hobby. We were almost allergic to the idea of picking up our cameras and going on a photoshoot. The only “real” shoot we had was in San Pablo, and only because we were also shooting Greg’s prenup. Personally, the only travel photography I did was in conjunction with my vacations, as opposed to traveling specifically to shoot photos. Also, I limited most of my photography to documenting my family during our gatherings. For an entire year, we stayed away.
This year, we told ourselves that it is time to pick ourselves up and collectively shake ourselves awake from this creative stupor and there’s no better way to do that than to go out there and start shooting again. We decided to go back to where we first had our landscape lessons, Zambales. We were all grappling with a year’s worth of rustiness. Our cameras felt alien in our hands (I was shooting a lot with my point and shoot last year), and we were struggling with finding the right composition. We didn’t know which filters to use, and generally unsure of our skills.
By the end of the shoot, we were drained physically (the sun was punishing!) and creatively. We felt beaten and downtrodden by the creative struggle but we chose to treat this photoshoot as getting our feet wet again and re-learning the craft. We’re always too hard on ourselves, so we decided to cut ourselves some slack and just enjoy the hobby again like we used to. So although we’re still looking for that elusive “kick-ass” photo, we’re just glad to be back in the game.
I brought my trusty first camera, my Nikon D40X, since it’s got better colors as my other camera, the D90. That’s why for landscape photography, I always stick to my D40X paired of course with the Sigma 10-20mm ultra-wide lens. I’ve decided to split the pictures into 2 sets. For this one, I’m posting the colored photos, with some using the ND400 filter for that vintage 70’s look. I’ll post the black & white photos/infrared photos in another set.
We decided to shoot in the areas of Zambales that we haven’t been to before, opting for rocky nooks and coves, far from the usual areas where tourists flock to swim. We didn’t want to shoot the same stuff we’ve already covered the other two times we’ve been to Zambales.
It’s still stunning as ever. That whole area is just so photogenic, and the weather was cooperative, and the sights, simply gorgeous. It was a nice place to rediscover the joy of photography. I really just hope it’s a successful jumpstart to get back into the hobby. A creative block is no fun, and it would be nice to do this again regularly. With so many vexations to the spirit, a weekend photoshoot is a wonderful stressbuster for frayed nerves.
(next: my black & white and infrared photos)