I’VE been planning to visit the Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur since December 2014. The trip was cancelled due to a strong typhoon that made its landfall in Hinatuan itself. I promised myself that this year, I’ll definitely find time to visit the mystical and enchanted river, and I did.
In this article, I’m going to focus on my experience as a photographer and the difficulties you may encounter. Although the place has a lot of stories to be shared, I’ll probably find another avenue for that. My first advice when you travel is to plan your gear.
I did plan my gear ahead, but nothing will fine tune your preparation than testing it in the field. After enduring a heavy load and hassling my way through public transportation, I realized that I had too much gear.
I won’t reveal to you what I had in my camera bag and embarrass myself, but instead, I will suggest what the essential gear you’ll need. Weight and size is the ultimate consideration when deciding what to bring.
For the lens, a good pair of 70-200 and 17-40 will definitely cover most of the shots you want. Try to leave the primes in the dry box if you can. You don’t need a flash. Even if you think you might need one, you don’t. The filters are definitely coming.
You also don’t need a laptop during your trip. Your smartphone will suffice if ever you need to do some emails and maybe some social media. Get the one with GPS. A large power bank is definitely a must. Get the one that has a flashlight on it. You’ll need it when shooting nightscapes. You can also do light painting with it.
Bring a second set of camera. This one should be compact with a 24-70 lens or somewhere in that range. This will serve as a backup. This camera should be small enough for you to hang around your neck during your travel. It will allow you to take quick snaps along the way without bringing out the heavy artillery.
Wear some really comfortable clothes. If you can get ones with long sleeves that have a good air vents with a lot of pockets, that would be perfect. If your destination is coastal, trekking slippers or sandals will do. Don’t forget to toss in a bottle of water and a couple of biscuits. As you go further, there won’t be 7 Eleven’s to bail you out.
Make sure to talk to the locals about the different places you can go and other good looking sceneries in the area. As you try to find a good vantage point to shoot, keep on snapping with your compact camera. Once you find your spot, then you can bring out the big guns.
Keep on shooting, everyone!
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