Canon Photomarathon in Tagaytay

Taal Volcano in Tagaytay

Taal Volcano in Tagaytay

Tagaytay is this year’s home for Canon Marathon Philippines 2009. Initially set for a different venue and earlier time, it was moved due to the typhoon Ondoy.

This was my first time to join a Canon Photomarathon. So despite my busy schedule, other invitations, and a 5am wake-up call , I choose to go to this whole day event whose center of activity was the Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC).

I somehow expected a cooler climate especially since the December season is around the corner. But when we arrived at the site by 9am, it was only slightly cooler than Metro Manila.

Canon Photomarathon

Canon Photomarathon

Anyhow, we were greeted with a number of canon marathon event streamers and freebies from Nescafe. We immediately registered at the event booths and got our canon shirt as the orientation has already started.

Categories

There were two main categories: DSLR and Point & Shoot; plus a new additional Video category which is open to all contestants. Even though point & shoot participants like I felt somewhat inferior to the DSLR-carrying photographers, I was secretly glad to be in that category. This is because about 90% of the participants are in the DSLR category and only 10% on the P&S. This means more chances of winning as per odds. :) hahaha (just kididng).

I think the hardest rule was a total “no-edit” policy; not even “cropping” was allowed.

Photo Contest Themes

The first theme was announced after the orientation which started by about 9:30am. I heard that in contrast to previous year’s delivery of plainly stating the themes like “Portrait“, “Action Shot” and the likes, this year’s themes were given in riddle-parable-like manner which required some thought from the photographer contestants.

Submission deadlines for the three themes were 1200hrs, 1550hrs, and 1830hrs, respectively.

Theme 1

Envy the eagles for they can fly the open sky;
Everything so huge would seem to grow smaller as they recede from the eye;
A wider perspective would be a breath taking experience,
Especially if its captured  through our magnificent lenses.

Peoples Park In The Sky

People's Park In The Sky

Easily, everyone got that it was a landscape shot that we are looking for so most participants went to People’ Park in the Sky. But with some friends, we also made a number of stop overs along the way including viewpoints near Picnic Groove Park and Discovery Country Suites. At the other end of the highway stretch was Sonya’s Garden (near the famous Mushroom Burger). :)

Here are some of my top photos under the landscape category which I did not submit (I’m not publishing the photos I submitted in this blog to avoid disqualification issues).

Peoples Park In The Sky

People's Park In The Sky

Taal Volcano

Taal Volcano

Theme 2

FIlipinos no matter where they go,
be likely to leave a mark of his hard work and merit;
The challenge is to capture his great efforts; impart his message through narrating photos.
It can be the fruit or the remarkable deed; for it will surely receive an overwhelming remark on your spirit.

This is definitely a harder category to interpret but we choose the Tagaytay public market (over other options such as Olivares Shopping mall and Tagaytay Japanese Garden) as venue given the number of people and proximity to the place. Even with most of the contestants also choosing the same, I was enthusiastic since the market place was full of subjects and rich in texture.

If I had an easy time in the landscape category to choose which to submit (coz I only had one good shot), I was torn with at least five shots in this category (I wanted to submit them all, lol).

Here are my third to seventh choice photos which I did not submit. (I’m not publishing the photos I submitted in this blog to avoid disqualification issues).

Beans

Beans

Meat Vendor

Meat Vendor

The Ax and The Cow Head

The Ax and The Cow Head

Walis Ting-ting

Walis Ting-ting

Pacquiao

Pacquiao

Which one do you like best among these five?

Unconsciously, my best photos in this category are in sepia mode. I would have chosen the peanut pile (not shown) but choose the one I submitted because there was a human element in the photo which I think was necessary.

Theme 3

Tagaytay is known to be a city of character qualities.
Look up and search for these moral traits.
Lay it on a frame and take pleasure in the wonderful practices.

And I thought theme two was hard. :( Putting character traits in photos is not only hard to compose, it is also difficult to capture…nonetheless, that’s the challenge.

We first went to a nearby open-air compound of commercial establishments looking over a great view of Taal Volcano. They call it Starbucks Magallanes. Other similar venue are Josephine’s, Viewsite, and Taal Vista Hotel. Having in mind the target of capturing Tagaytay people’s religiousness, we then took a jeepney to the nearest church in the area – Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church – where we caught a wedding and joined the shooting frenzy :)

Here are my limited choice photos which I did not submit. (I’m not publishing the photos I submitted in this blog to avoid disqualification issues).

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church

The Wedding

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church

It was a terribly tiring day but fun and worth it – for the love of photography. :) But wait there’s more! We left the venue even before the night program was finished because I have to catch the finals night of Nescafe Soundskool 2009 in Rizal Stadium near La Salle Taft. I was back in Manila way past 9pm and reached half-way through the concert.

Canon PhotoMarathon Philippines 2009

Canon PhotoMarathon Philippines 2009

Winners for Tagaytay‘s Canon Photomarathon Philipines 2009 will be published in major newspapers next week. I am not expecting, but hoping is good. Haha! :) Canon, I want the new DSLR camera prize! :)

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