We arrived in Bontoc in the afternoon after a scenic drive along Halsema highway. After a late lunch, we proceeded where we will be staying for the night: a retreat house located on a hill overlooking the town. The sun was getting low and the light was golden, everyone was getting fidgety, we might miss on the sunset.
The scene when we arrived at the retreat house was absolutely crazy. Nine photographers, not much sleep, some still drowsy from a 12 hour drive, and not very familiar with the location. I tell you we were like mice trying to get out of the maze and get to the right vantage point.
And while we were almost out of our wits trying to find the right way, our safari leader kept reminding: "Guys we only have about 5-10 minutes of this light". I saw my companions' faces that time and some have this look: "Oh shoot! We are never going to get that light!". I probably had that too!
I swore photographers can get rabid once we have our game faces on during the crucial moments. Some will probably bite the head off someone who trips their tripod or walk into their composition. But after the moment has passed and everyone has clicked their fill, we look like delighted and contented puppies who just had their drink of milk.
The next morning we woke up early and headed to a pasture land on the western side of town. It was still dark (and cold) and I couldn't see much of where we were going, except for the lights below. The spot has an amazing view overlooking the still sleeping town.
Soon everyone had their game faces on. We chose our spots, mine was under a small pine tree, and waited for the sun to show up. When it finally did, the whole sky was lit up with all the fancy colors photographers always dream of. Perfect mountain light!
Subtle. While the sky on my left side was bathed in rich colors, I turned to the other side for the subtle ones.
It was one of the best sunrise I've seen. It helps that the place is beautiful too, you can just point your camera at any direction and get postcard perfect scenery.
Magical. Long exposure magic with the moving clouds and neutral density filter.
Here are some shots of my companions capturing that morning's magic: