Finally, I acquiesced. On one condition: I will not drive. I know I will not be able to sleep properly and I don't want to drive after having less than four hours of sleep; I had less than three...
So, with a tent, a couple of sleeping bags, and a few provisions, we went up the mountain with 21 others. (Don't be fooled: it was not a long hike, after a 50-minute jeepney ride, the place was just maybe 100 paces away from the main road...)
I was armed with a Canon G15 and a GorillaPod. I didn't really plan to shoot some photos since I haven't done any astrophotography except when a lunar eclipse happened in Princeton, NJ. Anyway, the first thing that I noticed when we went up the mountain and after we set up our tent was that Metro Manila was really bright! I photographed the constellation Orion and you can see the glow of the metro - there is so much light pollution in the city!!! (I also thought, "Somewhere out there, Anne Curtis' billboard is calling out for me..." Don't ask!)
I was also able to photograph some of the constellations:
Also, at around 3AM, I tried to photograph the Milky Way, the real purpose of why I am staying outdoors in the first place! But unfortunately, the G15 tops out at 15s! I wish it could be longer! And so, to my great dismay, all I got was this:
But then, while sitting in front of my computer, I realized that I was shooting RAW photos. So I thought, why not try to pull some images out by increasing the exposure of the photos. These were the photos that I got! There is a great amount of noise, hardly surprising considering the size of the sensor of the G15, but I was still able to photograph the Milky Way!!!
So, lessons learned?
-- Shoot in RAW!!!
-- Bring a real tripod
-- Bring a DSLR
Yes, the best camera is the one that's with you, and I have proven that here, but next time, I would bring a full frame sensor and a 50mm f/1.4 lens. I will have more leverage when it comes to the noise level and I will be able to control the time more.
|The morning after...|
Oh, and practice putting up the tent at your own home where there is plenty of light...
And for my friends who still doubts that I spent a night in the wilderness (not really wilderness; the house of the owners were just a shouting distance away...), here's a photo of the wife and I. And our tent. :) And yes, there will be a next time! :)
The place where this happened: