During the year 2006-2011 in my home country, digital cameras are ubiquitous. Nowadays in various parts of the world, digital single-lens reflex cameras dominate the scene. If you have either one of those and use it for fun or passion, you could call yourself an amateur photographer.
It was in 2012 when I became a full-time amateur photographer—when the blog officially turned into a travel blog. When I fell in love with sharing the experiences and photos from climbing mountains and, soon, travels. And after a few years of being a shutterbug, I only acquired one of the many essential photography skills (but still, a work in progress): composition skill. Truth be told, I still rely on the available automatic settings of my shooting equipment. This equates to doing trial and error technique—taking innumerable photographs and come up with just a thing or two for sharing.
After all those years, I have learned that there is a slow progression of technical knowledge in photography without the formal education requisites. This holds true for my case obviously. I still have good reasons to be proud of the little achievements from just being an enthusiastic photographer nonetheless.
Thank heavens social networking sites and hashtags exist on the web. It was them that paved the way for my photos to be noticed.
I am referring to the 15 photos on my Facebook and Instagram that made it to It’s More Fun in Bicol, Bicol Bloggers, and Philippine Images’ FB pages and IG accounts respectively this year. These photos showcase some of the best tourists destinations in the Philippines.
“Calaguas Island Tour’s Day 2: The Time of Our Lives” (Vinzons, Camarines Norte)
“Catching the Rustic Sunset in Calaguas Island” (Vinzons, Camarines Norte)
“Calaguas Island: A Perfect Microcosm of Paradise in the Bicol Region” (Vinzons, Camarines Norte)
“CamSur Watersports Complex is Still Bicol’s Most Modern Destination” (Cadlan, Camarines Sur)
“Lago del Rey: CamSur Watersports Complex’s Better Half” (Cadlan, Camarines Sur)
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#Repost @thewanderingfeetandmind ・・・ Back in 2007, this part of CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) was just a grassy area. Never knew it will become another big tourist attraction in the Bicol Region: "Lago del Rey". With Lago del Rey's exciting water-based entertainment facilities and CWC's, the region's tourism is, once again, undoubtedly boosted. Their joint forces will also further enhance CamSur’s growing reputation as one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. #storiesofthewanderingfeet #storiesofthewanderingfeetandmind #reflections #travel #travelphotography #visitcamsur #wtnadventures #bicolbloggers #itsmorefuninbicol #lagodelrey #travelph
“Why Bagolatao’s White Pebbles Beach Is The Perfect Summer Destination In The Philippines” (Minalabac, Camarines Sur)
Bagolatao Trilogy’s Part 1: Basking In The Natural Scenery (Minalabac, Camarines Sur)
“The Joy Of Summer” (Black Sand Beach, Bacacay, Albay)
(I never really knew how much of a standout Bicol Region is until I was compiling the photos earlier. I am proud to be an adopted Bicolano since the 30th of May 2008.)
“The Abundant Mount Cristobal Of Quezon Province” (Laguna/Quezon Province)
“The Pristine Water Around Capones Island” (San Antonio, Zambales)
“The Most Beautiful Cove In The World” (Pundaquit, Zambales)
“A Magical Site Trip To Lobo Beach Club & Spa” (Lobo, Batangas)
“Outreach To Mount Timbak” (Atok, Benguet)
In May 2016, I also got an opportunity to be interviewed by the Sr. Copywriter, Soffian Manaf, of Photobook Worldwide as as part of its endeavor to partner with different personalities around the world to take a peek at how their passion translates into a work of art. I was fortunate to be their 13th artist for this collaborative work: “Photobook Interviews: Sony Fugaban“.
Photobook Worldwide is the leading maker of premium handmade photo books that let you cherish your best memories into gorgeous coffee-table books. They currently serve more than 100 countries worldwide, and has 4 global offices located in Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
And, the blog post titled “A Tour to the World Sights Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia” that was featured on “Life in Saudi Arabia” and its social networking sites. This was actually a story of non-credited post which I discovered by chance. I called the attention of the blog’s administrator right away. I got the credit for the post and photos eventually.
In all fairness, the administrator was very apologetic and submissive when we were exchanging emails and comments. I would have been a lot happier though if I was given due credit the proper way (i.e., citing my complete name and the blog’s as opposed to “Souce: Yobynos”).
“Life in Saudi Arabia” is dedicated to giving readers the complete guide (Climate, Living, Birth, Procedures and much more) to living in KSA. It now has over a million followers, collectively.
Without the help of these Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, and websites, I would have not noticed the improvement in my composition skill. They have significantly boosted not only my photos’ likes and blog’s traffic but my confidence as well. According to business.com, there are 1.8 billion photos being uploaded on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Snapchat, and WhatsApp every day since 2014. So if famous pages, accounts, or websites—be it local or international—feature your work, it is definitely an achievement.
The least I could do then is to return the favor by expressing my overflowing gratitude through this year-end blog post. Having said that, it will not end here. I am to enhance my composition skills; learn about correct exposure and using filters; and post process works via Adobe Photoshop are some of the many things that excite the philomath in me as we speak.
A million thanks to It’s More Fun in Bicol, Bicol Bloggers, Philippine Images, (for the special mentions); Photobook Worldwide & Life in Saudi Arabia (for the features respectively); Almarai Company, Ace Galleta, & Sai Achanta (my travel sponsors this year); Renante Crisostomo & thechinitowanderer (my first international travel buddies; our Dubai Chronicles series are now in queue for publishing); Mabel Kwong (my virtual writing mentor), Ms. Wonderwall (my number 1 supporter) and all those who contributed to this yet another prolific year for “Stories of the Wandering Feet & Mind“.
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2016 – The Year I Made My Childhood Dream Come True (excursionista.net)
MY 2016 TRAVEL MEMORIES FROM 38 CITIES IN 14 COUNTRIES (docgelo.com)
Looking Back to a Heartwarming and Adventure-Filled 2016 (adrenalineromance.com)
Travel and Beyond: On Losing Magic and Struggling to Find It Again (iamtravelinglight.com)