Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oh what a difference one vowel can make!

After a short flight and a long bus ride, I arrived in Vigan, hot and dry, stepping off the bus I reached into my pocket for my Chapstick (probably laboratory tested on animals) and applied it to my parched lips. Wearing my leather flip flops, (made from genuine cowhide), I set off to find my holel. Along the historic cobblestone streets of this UNESCO World Heritage City, I passed vendors selling the Philippine's famous balut (boiled egg with embryonic chick inside) and restaurants selling Vigan's famous Longanisa sausage, (a delicious concoction of all things carnivorous). It appeared, at least at first glance that there were few Vegans here in Vigan. Like I said....what a difference one letter can make. Now, let me go on record as saying that I have nothing against Vegans, or vegetarians for that matter, and I do spend quite a lot of time in parts of India where meat is difficult to come by. Although I enjoy a nice vegetarian curry dish now and then, when it comes down to my eating preferences, I do prefer a 100% beef burger over a McVeggie or a tofu sandwich any day. For example, tonight, I stopped for some street BBQ, it was delicious!
After checking into my hotel I set out for a quick twilight shoot of the historic district of Vigan, the heart of which is Calle Crisologo, with it's crumbling Spanish architecture. Vigan kind of reminds me of Havana, but without all the music, nightlife and partying!
All around the historic heart of Vigan, horse drawn carriages were plying the streets past shops selling antiques and handicrafts. There were even a few shops selling cigars made from local tobacco and Vigan's own mango wine.
Today I did a thorough exploration of the town and discovered some photo locations, including a weaving cooperative and a pottery factory.


Anonymous said...

Hi Karl! Wow. It's been fun to see your images from there. Looks ripe for photo op's! I curious how the new equipment is working for you?Advantages/disadvantages

Take Care, Darren M.

Anonymous said...

Awesome shots :)

myeye said...

Looks like a great scouting trip so far...have a San Miguel for me!

svende1970 said...

Hi Karl

I like your blog and stories. Nice pics you have, and congrats with your new cameras. You seem to like the wider view you get with them.


Karl Grobl said...

Thanks for the comments one and all.
I'll have that San Miguel, Myeye. And Svende, yes, I like the 17mm as opposed to the 16 with the 1.3 crop factor on the Canon Mark II. Wide is always fun!
Cheers, Karl

Justine Armil Cardell So said...

Hi Karl, now I'm wondering... have you ever eaten our famous Balut? How was it?

I missed it. And I'll share you my technique of eating a balut... Just CLOSE YOUR EYES. :) Hehehe.

I love your images. Keep it coming and take care.

Mark Scherz said...

Hey Karl, I was just wondering if you raise your ISO for these dark factories and things? Or do you simply have increadibly steady hands? Absolutely loving these shots. I wish I had such skill with people photography.

Drey said...

Hello Karl,

I have never been on that province before. Your set of photos made me want to wish I could get there soon.

I also want to ask what kind of lens were carrying? Or for 'most' of your job, what is the typical lens most useful for the job as a humanitarian/photo journalist photographer.

Thanks Karl, God Bless!

Karl Grobl said...

Drey, I carry a 17-35 2.8 and a 70-200 2.8...that's all!

Karl Grobl said...

Hi Mark, thanks for the compliment, but I can't take all the credit. Higher ISO and image stabilized lenses really help!