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Canon Photomarathon 2012 National Leg – Intramuros – The Experience

_1070170December 8, 2012 – It was very early in the morning when I got to the registration site, around a quarter to six. I didn’t want to encounter any traffic and delays and since it was indicated that kit distribution was going to begin at 6:30, there I was.

I registered my SX110 IS for the competition in the point and shoot category. Part of the competition mechanics require participants to wear the official apparel that comes with the kit and so we were a sea of red photographers all ready to take on the themes that we were supposed to interpret. If you’re keeping count, there are almost 3000 registered photographers on site (2800 was announced).


While we weren’t able to start off at the indicated time for a supposed three theme contest, our host and organizers were very enthusiastic about the record breaking turnout of the national leg.

IMG_0046 IMG_0045

And so with the sun steadily going up, they laid out the first theme for the competitors after we were made to replace the dates and times on our cameras to ensure that every photograph taken from thence will only be the ones counted:

Entering the seven gates of Feudal Lords
The Stream of Imagination and 400 year unfolds,
Fortified from strength
of Distinguished and ever loyal subject
Is vibrant urban fabric of life
where colonial past reflect.[sic]

The rules of the competition state that you can take photos out of the boundaries of the contest site so long as you’re able to return and upload a single entry within the specified timeframe. Some groups and individuals do this simply because of the grander possibilities for interpreting the theme. I was able to find an interesting vantage point within the grounds and here’s my entry for this particular theme:


The timeframe provided for taking your photographs and uploading them is 3.5 hours per theme, should you finish early or find some idle time in between shooting, there are a number of kiosks strewn about the entrance and near the stage area where participants can meet the sponsors and possibly get free item/s for simply liking their facebook page or participating in a draw or some form of contest.

_1070189 Come half past noon we were provided with the second theme for the photomarathon:

A magical city that will shape our
With Nationalism embedded in our
The heroic legacy of dungeons you
will see
Gleaming with amber spectrum and
Classic Beauty [sic]

I found this theme harder to interpret because of the limitation of the SX110 equipped with a lens that isnt too wide. I was going to play on its strength as a superzoom camera but that wasnt getting me satisfactory results either. This is the frame I submitted for this part of the competition, it is actually the very first shot I took after the second theme was disclosed:

IMG_0069 Another rule in effect during the contest is that a photo cannot be submitted with another participant in the frame so I had to wait a bit close to the ground to take this one on an area with relatively heavy traffic.

I had to leave right after I submitted the photo for the second theme because the photomarathon was happening the same time and date as a architect’s general membership meeting of national scale so I have no idea what happened later that afternoon and evening where the judging was supposed to occur.

Here are some insights into photography in a visual narrative all taken during the competition proper… enjoy!


You’re never too young/old to begin photography


Take photos in comfort… it shouldnt feel like a task or burden at any time


_1070199While there are no rules for photography, you should first learn to follow the basics before you manipulate or break them

_1070186You can never have too much memory, especially in this age of digital photography… you shouldnt be saving shots instead continuously take them

_1070203Never forget that your health and safety comes first… keep yourself hydrated especially when shooting under the punishing heat of the sun

_1070196 Use available light whenever possible: it is naturally diffused and constantly even

IMG_0043It doesnt matter what camera you use, the best camera is always the one in your hands

It was an extremely fun and satisfying experience, getting to mingle with hobbyists and professionals of all inclinations. There were Canon Crusaders of Light about the place as well providing priceless insight and inspiration to the photographers they encounter.

I’d like to end this post with a very cleverly devised local adage that the hosts always asks the audience:

Sino ang may camera itaas ang kaliwang kamay!… Itaas ang (kanan) Canon!

IMG_0049Photos in this post are a mix of those taken with the SX110 and the GF3, I was touting both cameras at the same time althroughout the event.

About the author

Mark O.

Mark is an architect and artist who endeavors to design most anything that requires a little bit of thought into it.

Although writing is not considered a primary focus, a little too much time can yield many thoughts that are just begging to be written down.

Armed with a trusty array of content creation devices and surrounded with a continuous flux of technology and life, herein lies those that are fortunate enough to have been given presence through a little bit of movement and a whole lot of iterations.


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