Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sofia, 5

Sofia before her dance number in her school.

I have not been editing photos lately. This photo is the first I tried for the longest time where heavy editing is required. It took me around 20 minutes to come up with the final image. Looks good? Thanks to editing tools like adobe photoshop and lightroom, it makes possible to make poster like images. This kind of editing is one of the hallmark of a Librodo.

Yes, I'm talking about Manuel Librodo Jr., one of the icons of philippine photography. And yes, I did attend one of his workshop two years ago. Its been a while and yet his style is still is one of the most sought after today. Its been a while too that I've edited photos like this and I'm seeking to rediscover my passion in photography.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Photoburst.net - Travel Photography Daily Contest

This is my 4th win for Photoburst, a daily travel contest participated by different travel photographers around the globe. Ahem.

I really don't join this for anything but just having fun, a sort of a litmus test for my photos if it passes some of the better critics out there. I guess it does sometimes.:) Its been a while though that I have the motivation to take new photos and somehow this rekindles my passion to take photographs.

About the photo: This was taken during the Sinulog festivities particularly during the 6AM Mass of the Fiesta day. I woke up early for this one to get the best position possible and used a fisheye for this one to give the subject/event the wide feel of the ritual. The pilgrims are actually doing the ritual "Bato Balani sa Gugma" or Magnet of Love, a moving ceremony that moves most of the devotees into tears.

Specification: Nikon D300s, Nikkor 10.5mm Fisheye

Here's the permalink of the site: Photoburst.net - Travel Photography Daily Contest

Monday, September 6, 2010

34th Milo Marathon

With its good and sensible advocacy of providing new shoes to poor recipients, The Milo Marathon has become one of the most prestigious and the biggest running event in the country with over 210,000 runners taking to the streets this year. Yesterday, it was the Cebu leg and I together with my brother Harold, both avid Milo drinkers while we were still young wouldn't let it pass. We signed up for the 21k distance together with 30 more people from team YYK.

Runner 2330 Ready

I have never been a competitive runner since started to don my running shoes preferring to run recreationally but on rare occasion like Milo, I step up on the gas pedal and tries to test my limits. And so a few weeks before the race, I started spice up my runs with a little bit of tempo and fartlek sessions. I have to admit that lately I don't train as much as I use too due to newborn care, a nagging calf injury and a few new business ventures. My Camsur marathon schedule was first to fall on the side, knowing that although I was physically prepared, I was not mentally. What I do now became an unusual schedule of running on ovals on holidays and weekends, LSD on Sundays and treadmills during lunch although things has been improving lately well enough to keep me on the road as frequent as possible with great recovery. So with little training, I knew going for a sub2 hour target was nearly impossible with a slight chance of achieving it. I gave myself a self imposed target between 2:02-2:06 for this race.

"Kaya Mo Yan!" or "YOU CAN DO IT!" has been Milo's mantra for years for its yearly Milo Marathon. Never has the mantra been more well tested than that of yesterday. It was in one friend's comment the most difficult race he had raced. It was not the route. It was a better route this time, slightly inclined in some parts but mostly flat. Nor was the lack of hydration and marshals for there were a plenty (13,735 liters of water, 1,500 bottles of gatorade, 955 support crew, 18 medical stations). Hurray to Milo organizers!.

The gun started a bit late (5:37AM) but it didn't matter for we were entertained! Looking at the sky, I knew something eminent was about to happen. It has been raining days before but yesterday it was just blue, no clouds just clear blue sky. 555 of us from the 23,008 participants were first to be released for the 21k run. I check my Garmin, it read 5:59 for the 1st kilometer. Fine, fine I said and chat a bit with Jacob Ong who happened to just wear huarache sandals for the run! Off he went by the time we reached Capitol area. I didn't pursue seeing that with his thin physique I bet he's a fast runner. By the time we reached V.Rama area, it started to put on some speed. It was cruised control from kilometer 3-10 with an average pace of 5:30/km. By the time I reached the 10K mark my Garmin read at 57:23. Happy with the outcome, I smiled. That was the last smile of the run for me.

As we reached the coastal bridge approaching SRP, I saw the long stretch of beautifully asphalted road. Beautiful and deceiving, the real drama started here. The sun god Ra might have been cursing us that day that the heat was just excruciating, unforgiving. With no shade, no clouds, not even the slightest breeze, SRP look like a highway cutting across death valley! From a cruise control pace, I knew then and there that my ill fated dreams of achieving a sub2 finish has vanish. Crap, I won't make it I said but found strength to push on. My pace considerably dropped between 6:00-6:30/km. From km 9-17, the SRP was sort of a deathbed for most runners out there. The fast ones became slow runners, the slow ones became walkers. The water stations had become a sort of a bathing stations. Its a good thing that there were a plenty of them (water stations). Hurrah to the Ungo Runners for providing additional stations. You'r really heaven sent! Except for the water breaks, I promised myself at that point to never walk. The mantras in me became a turning point to encourage and push my body to overcome the heat. I trudge on and passed so many runners I lost count.

Finally made it out, body tired but I was not willing to just give up yet. Not when there were only 4 km. left. I saw one runner collapse near the intersection of the Basilica del Sto Nino. Good thing there was an ambulance nearby. Poor guy, must have overheated. There it was back to more speed but not already exactly the way I performed before entering SRP. I looked on my watch and saw I was still dead on in my target for at least a 2:06 finish. I saw my brother at this point on his way back. I cheered him on to push as he can break sub2 with his pace. At last, as I entered the sports complex and saw the Milo timer, it dawned to me that despite the extreme condition that day, I broke my PR by six minutes! The smile came back, raising and clinching both my fist as I reached the finish line. The Milo timer indicated my time at 2:06:18 while my Garmin indicated a 2:06:32 finish. The chip time was way off by two minutes at 2:08:05. This was also noticed by most runners I know. I ranked 144 out of 504 finishers or top 28% of the field. Not bad for a recreational runner, not bad at all.

My brother timed at 1:58, a new PR and sub2 finish. Happy Me with my daughter.

It has been my sixth 21k competitive race of my running life. This one has to be the most memorable, most organized race I've joined. The heat made it more memorable. It was by far the most difficult 21k race I've joined. To be able to push oneself to the limit in extreme conditions just confirmed what most runners believe: That what the mind thinks, the body would just follow. Today I savor the moments of agony, knowing that it would help me a lot to overcome the trials in life. Singapore marathon here I come!

Keep on running!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

$200 Photo

I never thought stock photo can be worth that much. Recently, the art director for Utne Magazine U.S. bought the publication rights for this photo of mine. Its just a snapshot of watermelons for sale I saw beside the road one afternoon on my way home. It can be labeled as a fine art photo.

Simple as they may, somebody was looking for it and saw it probably in my flickr account. Lucky me! So the next time you take photos, published it (low resolution) online on your own website or any free photo publishing site like flickr or multiply. Who knows the next big photo might just be worth more than its perceived value.

Shoot and Run

Rumblings of a Cebuano on a pair of running shoes and a Nikon on one hand.

About Me

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Photography is my hobby, a long distance runner and an avid blogger, I consider traveling a dream and my family as my number one inspiration.