BALER: CATCHING THE WAVES
For three years, our August escapade have taken us to different places: Oslob in 2012, Siquijor in 2013, and Baler in 2014. We try to take time out from our regular work load and schedules to spend time with each other. It had taken me a long time to write about this trip (I have yet to do our Siquijor adventure). Maybe it was writer’s block… or I just hit a creative rut in my photography. It was disappointing not to get that one good image out of three or four hundred exposures. So it took quite some time before I edited the photos… and even longer to finally write about it. But as I always told myself, there’s is something to learn from every experience.
Day 2, Baler. Woke up before five in the morning… even before my phone’s alarm went off, in fact. It was my usual routine whenever I travel after figuring out if the place was facing east. Took a quick bath, grabbed my camera bag and headed to the beach. There were quite a number of people already out in the sandy shores of Sabang Beach even though the sun had barely risen. Some walking quietly, holding hands with a friend or a lover… while others try to blissfully outrun the waves rolling to shore. As the sky began to fill with brilliant gold and orange hues, surfers come out to catch the early waves.
I already spent two or three hours wandering along the beach on our second day in Baler and it was time for breakfast. My friends were already seated in the resort’s resto and deciding whether to try surfing or touring the town this morning. After a good breakfast (which was included in our accommodations), they convinced me to go back to the beach with them. They needed a photographer while they tried to ride the famous waves of Baler. By this time. there was already a crowd on the beach as well as in the water.
With a 75-30mm lens, I could hardly get any decent photos of the people in the water. It didn’t help that I didn’t want to get my feet (or my camera) wet. Their backs were against the sun, thus I got silhouettes or shadowy faces of surfers and my friends who finally were standing on their boards. It was frustrating that I hardly got anything after spending a lot of time in the beach and enduring the heat of the sun. The images where soft… I wanted them to be sharper… I was getting flares. Then you start to think: Is it the inferior glass in my lens? Is it the processor or the number of pixels in my entry level camera? Should I get a lens hood? Or maybe I was trying to justify in my head why I needed a new gear. Hahaha!
Then my friends suddenly asked to have their group photo taken while I have a telephoto lens mounted. Nice.
A lot of times, I tried to turn my trips into photo expeditions because photography fuels my desire to travel. Sometimes I forget that there are certain journeys that are simply meant to be enjoyed. It’s not about the place or destination but the company of our friends that matters. Memories are always not measured in (mega)pixels.