ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 06 Sept) – I didn’t expect our local camera club (The Umbrella: Joint Photographic Society of Iligan City) to continue with the monthly quarantine photo contests since the start of the lockdowns.
But last week we just closed our fourth. The subject: “leaves.”
Not plants in general, not flowers, but only leaves. In fact, we wanted to focus only on leaves – no flowers in the picture, just leaves. We also did not allow the usual tricks in plant photography – morning dew (usually intentionally placed there with spray or syringes) or insects on the leaves.
So for a month, almost every day, I took close to 5,000 shots of leaves – from the simplest (think weed) to the most exotic (monstera, anyone?), from the small ones to really big ones (giant pothos you like?).
I’m lucky I have a super plantita for a wife, who’s been collecting plants since we moved back to Iligan in 1997. All those years, I was just the willing driver who waits for hours in the parking lot as Miyam carefully chooses her plants, and the errand boy who carries the garden soil and the clay pots.
I’d take pictures of the plants every now and then, but not as intensely as I have done in the past month for the photo contest.
It took a long while to shoot my entries because I really love the way the leaves’ appearance changes during different times of the day, as the sunlight filters through the canopy of leaves of the trees. A few times I tried artificial light, setting up light stands and speedlights and umbrellas. But as always, my favorite pictures are those shot with natural light.
To make things a little difficult for us photo hobbyists, we required shooting in manual exposure mode, and no Photoshop or any image editing software allowed.
I shot mainly with the oldish Sony a6000, coupled with the 35mm/f1.2 full-manual 7Artisans vintage prime, and a few times the Canon 50/f1.8 and 70-200/f4L with adaptor.
Sadly, I did not win. But that’s okay, coz I’ve long told myself that I join photo contests not to win, but to improve my skill, and be humbled by the competition. All my three entries made it to the Top 10 though.
Here are my favorite shots. Plantitos and plantitas, enjoy! (Bobby Timonera / MindaNews)