Workshops in photography can be costly. The requirements on gadgets are too uppity it's sometimes disheartening to try. But this was not precisely why I (with the others) trooped to Baler, Quezon province sometime last year. Majority held digital cameras, but the priority was to capture the beautiful sights of Baler with the basic asset - creativity, wisdom in human interest, and passion for the lenses. The challenge was to conceptualize images of Baler with how the images race through our minds. The digital group unveiled trade secrets of brand technology, but for those with some strict sense of work ethics, patience and playful time with the sun were principles taught a long time ago.
Baler in pristine moments
Many times, we raised a discussion on pegs, something that had become a habit reference for shoots. We frankly groped for it and asked, "Sino nga ba ang nag-pauso ng pegs?" Is it a sort of "copying?" Is this detrimental to creativity? Where is originality if pegs are used? How do we become faithful to creativity when we rely on peg-patterned ideas?
But is a software necessary to describe the beauty of Baler? Pebble to pebble as we roamed the beach front, we looked at Baler with pride. It's both the seat of wanderers, ravishing landscape, and pure human faces caught in rapid transitions. We woke up as early as 4 a.m. to catch the fading effect of Baler's infamous sunrise. We lingered to check/sit anywhere convenient to wait for townsfolk to ply their trade. We watched for more after-effects, those that were not visible to the eye. We worked hard on the extra hours to achieve the effects. We derived concepts from visuals offered by the lush identity of Baler. What we see is what we get. Ultimately, seething with pleasure, only our cameras were able to capture them.
But that's one thing that drove us crazy shooting Baler: A natural light that was perfectly staged. Townsfolk in simple strides of life, while the pretentiousness of the urbane takes the backseat. There was wisdom in all aspects of Baler that only photographs can preserve.