Manila-based freelance photographer. Law student.
all photographs displayed on this website are copyrighted by neil chua and cannot be used without written permission, except for reblogging.
Palawan: a mobile photography series
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit Palawan (Puerto Princesa & El Nido) for 6 days, thanks to a college blockmate who lived there. As usual, I had my trust Canon 7D + 10-22 combo slung on my shoulder, but I felt that some moments were better off captured with my iPhone.
There’s something very liberating & fundamental in documenting places or experiences with a relatively-small resolution and a fixed focal length. This goes perfect with my growing fondness for photographing textures, lines, & juxtapositions. Maybe it’s the long dormancy from photography because of school, but I’ve never been more inspired to shoot using my phone. This summer break however, I haven’t been daring enough to travel out of town with just my phone to use as a camera. Maybe in time, I will.
The first photo is of Dexter, a young boat tour guide in El Nido. Watching him and his buddy skillfully guide our boat through shallow, clear teal waters amazed me. Their mastery of the waves as well as the location of the hidden spots was mind-blowing. “We used to need maps & markers to find these hidden beaches & caves. But after years as boat tour guides, we know these islands/waters by heart”, he proudly told me as he slowly steered the boat in front of a small cave opening.
The second photo is a study on textures & contrasts. Islands made of rock are scattered across the pristine waters of El Nido, while the rock formations themselves are topped with resilient flora and fauna.
The third photo is a minimalist take on El Nido’s sunset. It’s sights like these that made me, for a moment, question why I enjoy living in the city so much. By the sea, life proceeds at a more relaxed pace. There is time to savor the taste of a freshly-caught-and-cooked-fish or a freshly-harvested mango; to breathe in the salty smell of the waves as they repeatedly crash onto the shore; to marvel at the the sinking sun as it sets the skies above ablaze with color.
The fourth photo is the view from the small hotel where we stayed in El Nido. With the receding light, and small batches of tourists walking to/from the beachfront, it just had to be captured. I chose a black and white filter to place emphasis on the lines and how the shadows fall in the frame.
UST has begun taking down its Christmas lights & decorations (such as these illuminated stars) today. It’ll be 12 months again before my walks home will be extra cheerful.
It’s been a while since my last blog post, and such posts are becoming less and less frequent. Law school, y’know. But the passion is still alive.
Hope all is well with you people. Have a blessed 2014. :)
UST Office for Admissions Website
I was commissioned to be one of the photographers for the UST Office for Admissions’ new website. The team aimed to give prospective Thomasians (and site visitors, in general) a glimpse of student life at UST. I always wanted to do a project like this, as stock photography (in the context of advertising) has always captured my interest.
Meeting new people and getting friends to help out in this project was probably one of the best experiences I had during my undergrad days. I’d like to thank UST Office for Admissions for entrusting the task to me (and the whole website development team, of course). I’m glad that I was able to give back to the University before I graduated.
This website was actually launched last January 21. Having been so busy with senior year, I completely forgot to upload these photos onto my blog/site. Better late than never!
Do visit ofad.ust.edu.ph
*all photographs displayed on this website are copyrighted by Neil Chua and cannot be used without written permission.
You will probably notice that my posts of late have been few and far between. I’m a freshman now at the UST Faculty of Civil Law, and the amount of readings (and time required to read/study) just don’t allow me to shoot as frequently as I want to.
Technically, I’m on hiatus from photography at least until the next sembreak or summer break. For the record however, I don’t see myself giving up photography anytime soon. I’ll continue to maintain/update this site, and photos will be uploaded whenever I have new projects. God bless everyone!
Wishing everyone a blessed Holy Week.
Photo taken during the Procession of Our Lady of La Naval de Manila last October 14, 2012. It took such a long time for me to post this photo because it was part of the “La Naval: Mother of Faith” photo exhibit at Sto. Domingo Church, QC.
full story here: http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/80281/photos-capture-facets-of-a-religious-shrine-and-national-cultural-treasure