Philippines adventure engagement photos: El Nido Island Tour D travel and lifestyle shoot x @redsheepphotocinema. Private island tour of Cadlao Island and Ipil Beach, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. GoPro Hero 5 Black + Sony A7R II.
I have a problem. A good one. I'm running out of shooting spots in El Nido. I've been shooting almost every week since the year started and I want to give my clients something more than my usual Bacuit Triangle: the coconut tree-lined shores of Pinagbuyutan Island, the Lagen Island Sandbar - easily the best place to shoot an hour before sunset thanks to Lagen Island's silhouette - and the third vertex, the west of Bacuit Bay sunset cruise, for inside-the-boat golden-to-blue hour shots. Those three, Cathedral Cave, and, tide-permitting, Snake Island. Secret Beach, because of sheer distance and practicality, is out of the question for after-wedding portraits.
Surely, there's more to El Nido than these spots, so I was looking for logistically feasible options that are quite near to the usual beach wedding spots: Big Lagoon Beach in Miniloc Island and Cove 2 of Lagen Island.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not tired of shooting in El Nido, and I don't think I ever will. And I've mentioned that it's always like the first time given how dynamic the lighting and weather here is. I've seen El Nido's bright sunny best and stormy/trade windy worst!
Enter: this. Tour D, which addresses two issues spot-on:
One. It features locations that I haven't been to - Bukal Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Pasandigan Beach, Paradise Beach, all of which are in Cadlao Island, the poster boy of Bacuit Bay - and my new personal fave Ipil Beach. I've been to most of the islands in Tours A, B and C.
Two. Most are a few minutes by speedboat from Big Lagoon Beach making them feasible for post-wedding portraits.
And so I went that Sunday morning, on a private island hopping tour. Private. Trust me, it's worth every penny, particularly if you're taking lots and lots of photos.
Ah, but wait. Who will I shoot? The elopement that I'm shooting isn't until the next day, and I don't want to shoot my elopement couple Rudy and Francesca on a two-fold unfamiliar ground. First, the new locations - I wasn't sure then if they were worthy replacements of my usual favorite spots, and second, I was using a new GoPro thingie that allowed me to do those half-and-half [ half surface-half underwater ] shots that one would typically see on IG: a GoPro dome. Surely I don't want to use it for the first time on a commissioned shoot.
I didn't want to do a "models wanted" or "couples wanted" post - in the same way that I don't like mainstream advertising, announcing my travel schedule guns blazing and whatnot. Nothing wrong with it. It's just. Not. Me. (Well to each his own.)
And so, I decided to let the good Lord do His thing: put me at the right place at the right time. Qarah in Hebrew. Strong's H7136. Like what He did for me during the filmmaking workshop in Verona, Italy, or the wedding in Venice. Or those Milky Way shots in Mauna Kea or New Zealand. Or finding my missing car keys in Iceland. Or that time when I was in a van going to El Nido. Then this guy starts drawing me - beard, earphones and all - on his "Mol-uh-skeen-uh" (i.e, Moleskine). Using a just a black Sharpie. Candidly, like a taste of my own medicine when I do street photography. With artistic prowess. While on a zigzag road somewhere in Northern Palawan. And so we chatted, exchanged travel stories, and hours later, I gave them my usual "Beta" of El Nido (cocktails and tapas at Republica and pizza at Altrove!), then, after a few disclaimers, there. Done deal. Van and Aiza - a hip, like-minded and typically "redsheep" couple, ready and willing to join me in a private island hopping tour. Well that time was this time.
GoPro Hero 5 Black + Shoot Dome Port 5.0 + VSCO Film + lots and lots of HSL adjustments. Plus some Sony A7RII shots.
Adventure session with @vanhoangart and @msaiza (No, we're NOT hipsters. All three of us!). Love that Patagonia LoPro Trucker Hat BTW! Tour D, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. March 2018.