Canon Photomarathon 2012

This shot would have probably looked better if I had the fisheye lens with me.

The Canon Photomarathon of 2012 came to a close yesterday.

Overall, I found this year's experience to be much more enjoyable compared to the previous one. I believe that this could mainly be attributed to the fact that the venue and the surrounding areas (Fort Santiago within Intramuros) are already very conducive for photography.

Also, I went solo shooting this year instead of tagging along with a group. Although much of my time was still spent on hanging out with coworkers who also participated in the event, I always broke off and went on my own when it was time to shoot photographs. Being able to go at my own pace made it significantly easier to experiment and get obsessive with the details.

An attempt to use longer shutter speeds in the middle of the day

One thing that remains unchanged, however, is the atrocious choice of words for the photography themes of the competition. The Canon Photomarathons in other countries simply specify their themes using single words (ex. "flying", "harmony", etc.). In contrast to this, the Canon Photomarathons in the Philippines appear to have made a tradition of using ambiguous and verbose language spanning 4 to 6 lines of text. I find this unfortunate since the amount of talent and effort put into writing these seems disproportionate compared to that of the photographers participating in the event.

The first atrociously-written theme...

...and my entry.

The second atrociously-written theme...

...and my entry.

Once all of the shooting for both themes was done and over with, there was the long wait for the judging and announcement of winners. Besides the usual product advertisement, the hosts of the the event burned through the hours with several games and dance numbers. It was all too similar to noontime entertainment shows, and it wasn't my cup of tea.

Fortunately, the band performance later in the evening made the wait very much worth it. They presented a medley of 80's and 90's songs, and it was fucking awesome.

"Ilang celphone pa ba ang nanakawin, o giliw ko?
Ilang pokpok pa ba ang titirahin, o giliw ko?
'Di naman ako manyakis tulad nang iba
Pinapangako ko sa 'yo na igagalang ka
Sagutin mo lang ako, aking sinta'y walang humpay na ligaya..."

By my estimates, it was around 9PM when the announcement and judging of finalists began. About half an hour later, the winners were finally announced. The prizes for the point and shoot category were an S110, a G15, and an EOS M. On the other hand, the winners of the DSLR category had to make do with a 60D, a 6D, and a 5D MkIII.

Note that the theme is not even among the deciding factors for the judging of photographs.

The lesson to be learned from this year's Photomarathon is that even though the name "Photomarathon" implies that most pictures will be taken on the streets, that does not necessarily imply that street photographers would have an advantage in the competition. Based on the entries of the finalists, the judges priority visual impact rather than depiction of a slice of life in the area.


  1. dude, did you remember the name of the band who presented last 2012?

    1. Nope, I didn't catch their name back then and my Google-fu has found no information about them either.