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I'm just on my way back to Manila after spending a very pleasant week in a very remote farm in Davao del Sur, Mindanao, (in the Southern part of the Philippines). 'Extremely primitive conditions but the hospitality was great and I had a whole stretch of clean, clear and warm river water to myself! And it was great fun riding a motorcycle with four of us on it, going to the local market... Me, the driver and two very pretty and innocent country girls - one 17 years young and the other one just turned 15.


I only wish someone could have photographed the smile on my face!! :)


Whilst I was there, I decided to give the family and the other people in the village a break from my prying camera. But I did manage to get loads of photos of light shining through tropical foliage, the rice paddies, the river etc., etc. I also spent a lot of time and effort trying to get a decent shot of a very beautiful cockerel. The chickens there are totally free range and the damn cock kept roaming around! I also spent some time taking photos of different types of light, (morning, noonday, evening, sunny, cloudy etc.,) shining through the water onto the river bed. Hopefully, these will provide some good practice material for learning how to paint natural bodies of water.


I only have two regrets with that trip - and both of these were missed photo opportunities caused by my own stupid shyness and lack of confidence with people photography...


The first one was when I was sitting in a nipper hut, right beside the path through the woodland along the riverbank. My camera was in my hands and I was already busy snapping away at the early morning sunlight shining through some banana tree leaves. Like I said earlier, I had already decided to give people photography a rest during this recent trip - but then some opportunities are so fleeting and too good to miss. So you really have to grab the moment and take the shot? I was suddenly amazed to see three very young children, (probably aged between about 5 and 7 years old,) riding along the woodland path on a fairly large horse. No doubt, they were riding to school and they just looked so care-free and confident on that big beast! By the time I had rustled-up the courage to brave their inevitable shyness and laughter the moment they should see my camera pointing at them, it was too late and all I could see was the backs of the children and the horse's great bum! I hadn't even raised my camera from my lap...


The other missed photo opportunity was when, early on my last morning there, I was down by the river - busy trying to get some close-ups of some riverside flowers... So, obviously, I was ready and obviously, my camera was with me - primed, in hand and ready to go... But I wasn't expecting the family's 15-year-old daughter to come down to the river to say goodbye to me before leaving for school. And it wasn't until Jelyn turned to go that I realized what a pretty picture of carefree youth and innocence she was. With the beautiful, unspoiled rural scenery and that wonderfully soft, early morning light on her cheeks, this was another rare and not to be missed photo opportunity. All I had to do was to call back to her and just mention the word "pictures!" It would have been so easy and Jelyn loves having her photo taken. But, again, I was just too damned shy to ask- and then she was gone...


Mind you, these lost photo opportunities may just be the prodding that I really need, in order to encourage me to start painting from the memory and using my imagination? Now that is definitely going to be a big step for me - getting away from painting exclusively from photographs...




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  • Root Admin

Happy days!! (I just edited this post to get rid of a 'bad' link... It brings back some memories, that's for sure!!)

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