Of all our photo trips since we started with the hobby in 2008, this trip to Bataan was the most unique. Mainly because it posed the challenge of coming up with different shots using the same subject. Usually, when we go out and do travel or landscape shoots, we go around taking as many pictures of as many subjects as we can. But this time, we only had the sole subject, the lighthouse in Sisiman Bay, in Mariveles, Bataan. So it was like a portrait shoot with just one person, and the challenge was to take as many different ways to present the subject — happy, sad, angry, etc. Well, thank goodness the area cooperated. We went twice, one in the late afternoon, and one during sunrise. So the lighthouse gave us very different moods, like a talented model, and it turned out a productive shoot, despite the string of injuries I had to struggle through.
The low tide gave us very rich colors from the rocks that were already exposed but still wet enough to reveal a rich brown color that the lenses love. I was fortunate enough to catch a couple who were lounging lovingly on top of the biggest rock there, watching the lighthouse from their romantic perch.
The moody weather gave us dramatic cloud formations which complemented the bedraggled lighthouse, long abandoned but still standing…barely. The whole scene looked very Mordor-ish, and the derelict tower, with it’s missing handrails along the winding staircase makes for a compelling image that we were all hoping to capture. We did have to stop sooner than we hoped because the rain started to pour and it was a long walk back to the van.
The next morning, we woke up at 3am in our hotel in Balanga, to be able to get to Sisiman Bay by 5am to catch the sunrise. It was an hour-long trip to Mariveles, so we thought of leaving earlier than usual. We got there a bit too early, so the moon was still out, and we were able to catch that exact moment when it wasn’t quite sunrise yet, but not evening any longer. The moon and the brightening sky was wonderful to behold.
The rising sun infused the landscape with an explosion of colors, and we were scrambling to get our filters out to balance the different exposures. We’ve seen more spectacular sunrises, but it was more than enough to give us some splashes of yellow and orange to satisfy our craving for color, as opposed to the previous day’s gloominess.
When the sun was already out full blast, I was able to take a couple of infrared shots. But a few minutes of that with the sun beating down on us, I had to throw in the towel early because I was drained, and starving because we haven’t had breakfast yet.
So all in all, we were very satisfied with the photo shoot. Despite the many setbacks, and almost NOT finding our sole subject, it was nice to have found the lighthouse that we had grown to love. We hope for more shoots like this (minus the injuries), and we can’t wait for our next photo trip destination.