One Laiya Beach Resort, Batangas

Shallow water, beautiful sunsets, and outdoor cooking.
There's nothing particularly fancy about this place, but it's relatively close to Manila and more than decent enough for hanging out with friends.

If you're the type who enjoys peace and quiet though, you might want to check out other nearby resorts because this one has a karaoke machine for each cottage. It can get pretty nasty when the other guests are tone-deaf.

The resort next door. Quite a bit more expensive.

Although I would much rather be behind the camera than before it, willing models are often unavailable. Thus, I had to rely on myself and the camera's 10-second timer.

30-second exposure

8-second exposure

Yes, multiple selfie attempts can result in body pain afterward.

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This trip allowed me to become more familiar with the quirks of several lens filters.
  • First, the circular polarizing (CPL) filter:

    These two images were taken about 3 seconds apart. The only difference between them is that the CPL filter was twisted 90° in between these two shots. The orientation of the filter affects how much reflected (polarized) light is allowed to reach the sensor.

    I personally prefer the latter since it shows shallow water, clearer clouds, and greener plants; but some people I know prefer the first image because it was supposed more calming (probably due to the greater amount of blue in the picture).

  • My second observation involves the IR-pass filter. In the following shots, the camera is oriented about 90° with respect to the afternoon sun. I've also covered the side of the lens to eliminate the possibility of flare.

    The first image was shot at f/8 while the second was shot at f/4. I'm guessing that some of the incoming light was being reflected twice (first off the sensor, then off the IR-pass filter).

    Shooting at narrower apertures allows greater depth of field and sharper images, but it also emphasizes the circle of reflected light.

    Shooting at wider apertures can minimize the visibility of the circle of reflected light. However, this would almost always result in blurred pictures, partly due to the shallower depth of field and partly because IR light focuses differently compared to visible light.

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