I wasn’t too excited to go to Manila for this mandatory training, I’ve been there 4 years ago, and nothing to see, so I’ve made a decision to just taking architectural photography. My friend, Fajar Nirwan was very kind enough to lend his Nikon AFS 14-24 f/2.8 lens.
It’s been 4 days and I’ve been taking only urban/building photography from the windows of my hotel room, it wasn’t good enough because the glass was so dirty, even if I use the f/2.8 it’s not that crisp, not to mention the glare, reflection, diffraction etc. During morning and sunset the sun color was amazing, the color of the buildings was really nice though. So it’s ok for me, until one day I have an idea to take pictures from different room, just to get different angle. A friend of mine, you can call him Yudi (it’s not his real name), he stayed at floor 20, I was in floor 21. I believe his room had better view because he was in the corner of the building.
The room card that we had was designed to have access only to public floor and our own floor, so if I have to go to other floor, I have to meet him in the lobby. But Yudi had a brilliant idea, he asked me to just using the emergency stairs, it’s not that far…just go down 1 floor. I grabbed my camera bag and able to take the cellphone with me. I rushed to the exit sign door and opened it, there were 2 doors, the last door, it has some warning sign, I didn’t pay attention, I was scared that the alarm will go off if I pushed the handle….but it didn’t!!!!…. I was so relieved, so I ran to the 20th floor and tried to open the door…. Clik….mmm…it’s heavy and stuck… I tried harder….it didn’t move….Damn!!! it was locked!!! So I went back to the 21th floor and decided to get the elevator, when I grabbed the handle and pull it, it didn’t move an inch!!! Holy Goddddd….it’s locked….of course this emergency door will always be locked from outside and only can be open from the inside…DAMN!!!! I was stranded and sit for about 2 minutes, I didn’t want to go to the basement…no way man…. 20 story building down???? I’ll be dead…. Luckily I brought my phone…send the genius guy a SMS and wait for the Rescue.
He finally found me and escorted me to his room safely. The photos I took on Yudi’s room was ok…despite of the dirty windows, I could get another angle. It was nice also. It was 18:30, and the light was good on the wall of the building so I decided to go out and take some high angle from the bottom. When I reached ground floor, I took a walk about 2 blocks, it was not as I expected, it was quite dirty, the telephone cables are so crowded and it was blocking my view. And the important thing was I felt not safe among the neighborhood, so I got back to the hotel and just find some good view from the intersection just in front of the hotel. It was around 6-7 pm, the sky was so blue, so contrast with the building, I took some photos, then I realized the jeepney (traditional public transportation which originally was an American army jeep during world war II, then get modified and make it longer) was so colorful !!! When I used the slower speed to get the exposure right, the movement of the jeepney made a very beautiful blur….. It was so Amazing, I was so excited and I just sat on the side walk. It was quite dark, so I had to use my arms sit on my knee for supporting the camera from shake. It was like at least 1-2 seconds exposure with ISO 400. Without flash the pictures was astonishing… !!!! I was very lucky I took my chances to go down and take some gorgeous shots. There was no post production for these photos, just because I didn’t bring the computer, it just got resized using Irfanview to fit the Facebook. I will update the photos when I get back to my home. You will see some artifacts (pixelate image on a very contrast edge) All of these photos was taken by Nikon D90+ 14-24 f/2.8.
I love manila……
Blue and Blur
Nice Woman standing still
The blur jeepney
Old building, new building and crowded cables
Before the security approach