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This blog is an amateur photographer's attempt to show how beautiful the world really is. He is drawn to the colors of nature like a moth to a candle light. What are showcased here are nature's grand display of colors at sunrise and sunset, beautiful beaches and off-the-beaten track locations in his beloved Philippines, waterfalls and some of nature's great sculptures, architectural gems, and other views from around SE Asia that he was fortunate to see at one point.

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May 24, 2009

nagsasa cove: taking a second look

Its 3 in the morning and I'm standing on the shore in Pundaquit, waiting for our boats. The sky is clear and the stars are shining brightly - signs for a great weather. A strong typhoon recently ravaged the coasts of Zambales and Pangasinan and I feared I'm going to see a different Nagsasa Cove than the one I visited a couple of weeks ago.

The boat ride was as surreal as the previous one. The glow of the bioluminescent phyto-planktons was masked by the bright moon, but this time the surf glowed an eerie neon green. As we entered the cove the wind picked up a bit, making the last few minutes of the boat ride bumpy. It was weird looking up at the so peaceful sky, not a cloud in sight, then returning your gaze to the scornful sea.

We were the first group to arrive there, but more will be coming soon. Another large group of 18 photographers, inspired by photos of our previous trip, will be in Nagsasa by noon. Our boatman is going to Pundaquit to fetch yet another group. Nagsasa is indeed getting more popular.

After pitching my tent I hurried to the backwoods. Dawn is breaking and I have yet to scout my POV.

enduring sunrise

I went back to the beach after having my fill. I reckoned the mosquitoes also had their fill of my legs. A friend and his two kids were already enjoying the cool morning waters. The beach is littered with debris but nothing much has changed. The cove is as beautiful as ever.

Nagsasa Morning Canvas
morning canvas

After breakfast we hiked to the falls on the southern end of the cove. I took some IR photos on the way.

Nagsasa Cove:  Witness
infrared: seeing the unseen light

The waterfalls has swollen this time. The smaller cascades are more defined. I ended up trekking 3 times to the falls that weekend, acting as guide for different groups. A fellow photographer mentioned its "punny" to call the falls "H2O falls" - a name that would simply translate to "water" falls.

Early morning at HO2/H20 Falls
H2O Falls (or simpy "water" falls)

By mid-afternoon, while most were snoozing in their hammocks, I went around Wild Horse Creek. It was surprising that with all the photographers now in the cove (there were 45 of us there that weekend, the largest so far according to the campsite caretaker) I had the Wild Horse Creek practically to myself.

Nagsasa Cove: When Everything Stood Still
quiet afternoon

The warm sun seemed to make the grasses on the nearby hills glow. The scenery transported me to another place, far from the tropical Philippines I am very accustomed to.

Nagsasa Cove:  Painted Landscape
light painted landscape

At dusk the display of colors was subtle yet impressive. Everything went still as darkness gained upon the fading colors of the day.

Nagsasa Cove: Holding On
stillness of Nagsasa's dusk

I went back to the campsite after dusk, tired but happy that I was able to get several keepers. I was planning to do some night shots later, the clear star studded sky would produce very nice star trails during long exposure. But lying in a hammock with the gentle evening breeze caressing my face proved too soothing. Soon I was on my way to dreamland.

Click here for more of Nagsasa Cove

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Ferdz said...

Beautiful set Allan! Nature still at its pristine state. Ganda ng kulay. Relaxing and serene. Ok lang siguro na photogs muna bumisita dyan since they take care of the place din naman and conscious mag iwan ng kalat.

The Islander said...

woooowwwwww looks like not in pinas...

you did some miracle..

escape said...

another astig set from the anak ng nagsasa. hehehe... photos that i like the most in this set are photos 3rd from last and the last one.

atto aryo said...

hay naku..kainggit na talaga ang galing sa photography! idol! :-)

Lance Tang said...

wow! your photographs are superb!

Lantaw said...

Ferdz, bai the locals are also very conscious about preserving the place, they are aware of whats happening to Anawangin.

Islander, thanks bro!

Dom, you have got to visit the place before the summer ends :)

r-yo, salamat salamat!

Anderson, Thank you!

Anonymous said...

woah! great shots! astig astig.

Lantaw said...

Thank you Joffred!

Anonymous said...

Galing mo talaga sir Allan!! Binibigyan mo ng ibang kahulugan ang tanawin sa pinas!! Keep it up!! Carol of Makati

Lantaw said...

Carol, Maraming salamat! Our country is very beautiful, we just have to take a closer look :)

Anonymous said...

I can see why you keep coming back here. It's stunning. Thanks for showing us its beauty around the clock!

Lantaw said...

ladyfi, You're welcome! thanks for swinging by...

Regina said...

Great and perfect shots!

Shobe said...

infrared photos always capture my eyes.

hello from achi V's blog.

Gaelyn said...

Absolutely gorgeous, as always! You are very hearty, first there in the morning, fighting off mosquitos and playing follow the leader.

SandyCarlson said...

Woo! Wow. Amazing. This post was a delight. Thanks.

Sylvia K said...

Stunning, breathtaking colors, dramatic! Really gorgeous shots! Just doesn't get any better than these!

Lantaw said...

Thanks Regina and Shobe!

Lantaw said...

Gaelyn, Thanks! I had a lot of fun that day even with the mosquitos :D

Thanks Sandy and Sylvia!

Photo Cache said...

Amazing collection of photos and fantastic trip. Great job as always.

My entry is here:

Guy D said...

Magnificent photos, and I must say I love your header pic as well.

Have a great week
Regina In Pictures

Lantaw said...

Thanks Photo Cache and Guy D

demeter said...

okay, I'm guilty as on of those "snoozing in their hammocks"...hehe. I just like to say that your "quiet afternoon" picture is something I can only describe as incredible. Its a new favorite of mine. Galing.

Jenn said...

wow! parang hindi pinas!!! :-)

lagal[og] said...

lovely images bai. grabe, it's like when i first saw anawangin. i just hope that the place remains relatively pristine a year from now.

Lantaw said...

demeter, thanks!

jenn, yup its not your usual tropical scene :)

oggie, thanks bai! i hope so too bai. you've got to visit this place soon :)

fortuitous faery said...

such vibrant, dramatic colors! that IR photo looks so ethereal...almost like a winter scene.

thanks for dropping by my blog! :)

Oman said...

each images speak volume and the way you told the story just make me wanna go there. great shots.

Unknown said...

It's been a while since I've last visited here. I've missed so much of your posts so am keeping track now. Great shots of the nagsasa cove. Call me stupid, but it's the first time I've heard of it. I know, I know...LOL! So majestic and keeps me imaginative.

Lantaw said...

fortuitous faery, thanks! that IR shot is one of my favorites too!

oman, thank you bro!

Pacey, its great to hear its the first time you've heard of Nagsasa hehe, I'd like to think I'm going to the not so well known destinations :). Thanks for dropping by

ka bute said...

may i know what SLR are u using? :)

Lantaw said...

ka bute, im using an old Nikon D50 + Sigma 10-20mm. All photo EXIFs are viewable here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/allanbarredo. thanks for dropping by

Marites said...

hay, wow...ganda talaga ng pics mo. always breathtaking and inspiring:) more power!

Lantaw said...

Thank you Marites, sana makapunta ka rin dun one of these days :)

Sidney said...

Wow! Amazing and stunning images.
Such beauty!

sheng said...

OMG, ang ganda, i love the infrared shots...sana merong ganyan na rin si hubby... hehehe...mahal ata eh... hmmm, mapag-ipunan nga for him...

Lantaw said...

Thank you Sidney!Sheng, barato lang a. hulam anay sya kay leonard hehe

bw said...

what can I say... very nice and artistic indeed ! Great stuff :)

Lantaw said...

Thank you bw!

RedLan said...

ganda gawing wallpaper. perfect shots!

Lantaw said...

Thanks Red! I can give you copies for wallpaper if you want :)

Ayel said...

Wow. Really breathtaking pictures

Unknown said...

Excellent photos - spellbinding! Looks like you had a really good time.

Did you go camping here? with your own tent and vehicle?

Lantaw said...

@Expat in Philippines, Thanks. I love the place so much I go there several times a year. You can do a "day trip" there but its best to camp out. Its not accessible by car though, you have to leave your car in Pundaquit and then take an outrigger boat ride to Nagsasa Cove (45 minutes)

Carlo said...

Sir, I've been trying hard to get a shot similar to your shot of the "Wild Horse Creek." Ang hirap! First, I said, my shot was so far from yours. I told myself not to go to Nagsasa after a tiring 1 hour boat ride on a "bad" weather. Ultimate waves.. Then I got a chance to get there for free, so I Got a wide lens, got CPLs, NDs, told myself i should land this shot. I was there around 9am sun is all up. Again, very far! Now, I wanna go back for the third time just to get the same feel of this shot! Can you give me tips please? 3rd time is too tiring LOL. If i get lucky, I wanna share this story lol. Email sent.

Lantaw said...

You may be able to duplicate the exact equipment used as well as the exact settings, unfortunately you won't have control over the light. That's the challenge and frustration of landscape photography. You may get lucky on the first few visits, or you may not. So just keep coming back. For the Wild Creek scene I shot this when the sun was already low in the afternoon, around 4PM

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