Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Shooting the Sinulog

Yasunari Ramon Suarez Taguchi - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Festivals are a good chance for families to go out and enjoy together. These occasions are also exciting times for taking photographs. It's Sinulog time now, and this grandest of Philippine festivals is again drawing hordes of people to the city, among them photographers, both hobbyists and pros. 

Those who like taking pictures and determined to take impressive shots of this year's Sinulog Grand Parade, fireworks displays, parties and celebrations may find the following pointers helpful:

"Plan what to shoot, and shoot according to your plan." This popular axiom often comes up in photography classes and workshops. In the case of the Sinulog, the wisdom in this dictum is all the more true and highly applicable - given the many challenges a photographer encounters in shooting different Sinulog events.

Regardless if you intend to take photos of the solemn procession, the Sinulog Grand Parade or a Sinulog concert or party, making a shot list should be first priority.

Get a copy of this year's Sinulog calendar of activities, identify which event you want to cover, then ask yourself if you want to take human interest photos or if you're more concerned about capturing the event's highlights, proceedings and overall feel.

Though you can actually do both for most events, prioritizing one focus area over the other helps you in preparing the equipment to bring, and also compels you to plot out an ideal vantage point (or vantage points) from where to take photos.

Preparing a shot list would save you from needlessly crisscrossing the location. It will also prompt you to learn beforehand details about a Sinulog event you're interested in; for instance, whether a celebrity is expected to be there, or any a well-known personality or an interesting display as highlight.

Photography equipment and gear. There's really no golden rule specifying which equipment to bring. There is, however, one basic guideline which all photography pros adhere to: bring what will be needed to satisfy the entries of a shot list, not your entire photography gear.

Different photographers work with this guideline in different ways. The most experienced prioritize mobility over being weighed down by their gear, making sure to bring only what they really need to take the shots they want.

If planning to take photos of the Sinulog fireworks display, consider bringing a tripod since you'll need it for steady wide/open aperture shots. If planning on snapping close-cropped photos from a distance, consider bringing a telephoto/ultrazoom lens for such compositions.

If planning on documenting the Sinulog Grand Parade from start to finish, consider bringing a battery grip or extra fully-charged batteries (extra memory cards too), as these would be needed for day-long photography excursions.

Whatever photography equipment you bring to any event or occasion, keep in mind that each item you bring adds to the overall weight you carry - hence, the importance of having an idea of what you intend to shoot before heading out.

Photographer's etiquette and remembering what you're there for. Events like the Sinulog Grand Parade are public events; and as such, certain modicums of conduct are expected from everyone in attendance - photographers included.

In making your shot list, keep in mind that you are not the only attendee in a Sinulog event - be it the grand parade, the solemn procession or any other Sinulog event. Be mindful not to block someone else's view when taking pictures. Also, remember that you are not the only one who wants to take pictures in the event, so try not to mess up someone else's shot by being 'tigger happy' with your camera flash/lighting accessories or boxing others out from taking their own shots.

Remember that you are there to shoot the Sinulog, not to strike arguments with others.












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