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Manila in Monochrome

Two Sundays ago, I participated in the Royal Postal Heritage Tour for the second consecutive time. This time around, I chose to shoot exclusively in black and white.

Ballroom, Manila Metropolitan Theater

The decision to do so was a pretty gutsy thing for me to do, to be honest. For one, I haven’t fully mastered using my Canon A-1 in manual mode yet. Add to that the fact that I haven’t done a proper shoot in black and white ever (my attempts in the past were more like casual ones), plus I don’t do well indoors when it comes to manual (I wasn’t really that worried about shooting during the outdoor part of the tour).

Then again, I won’t be getting another opportunity to fulfill this goal – that is, to shoot the shadowy and crumbly interiors of the Manila Metropolitan Theater – anytime soon so I just decided to go on ahead with it. But, of course, not without first seeking the advice of my fellow editor plasticpopsicle and my friend Jenn, who were with me during the tour. Besides, whether I fail in the attempt or not, I was sure that it’d still be a learning experience for me. Anyway, I took my SLR loaded with a roll of Fujifilm Neopan 400 Professional film, plus a spare roll of Kodak TMAX 100 for the Escolta leg of the tour.

When I finally got the developed negatives a few days later, my first impression was that my photos taken indoors were too dark. I honestly expected to see more detail on them. But the more I looked at them, the more I got to appreciate the strong contrasts on my shots.

Here are some of them; what do you think? Oh, before I forget, all these photos were taken on a sweltering afternoon. It’s summer here in the Philippines, too, so in actuality there was too much sunlight.

Meanwhile, here are a few outdoor shots that I took with the same roll, just before we visited the theater.

Our next stop after the Met was Escolta St. in downtown Manila. During the Spanish occupation up until about 60 or so years ago, it was a thriving center of business, entertainment, and commerce in Metro Manila. I took mostly photos of architecture while there, some of them you can browse through below.

In all, I found this to be a very rewarding experience. Committing mistakes here and there most definitely didn’t put me off from trying to shoot in black and white in the near future. With the Sprocket Rocket, maybe? The sprocket holes would definitely look good in monochrome!

You may view the rest of my photographs in my album Manila in Monochrome.

Related article: Exploring the Manila Metropolitan Theater

written by chooolss

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