Philippines 2018

Join Acadia Images for a 12-day photo workshop and tour through the Republic of the Philippines, February 16th-27th, 2018.  Maximum 5 participants for personalized attention.

12-Day Philippines Workshop
 single occupancy. $4,900 double occupancy
All in-country transport  (including flights)
Meals (excluding alcohol)
Registration by November 1st, 2017

Nipa rooferWelcome to the Philippines:

The Philippines is a colorful country full of smiling people, endless beaches, warm weather, and unique culture.  Photography will cover a broad spectrum of subject matter but mainly focus on the people and landscapes.  The colors and textures of these tropical islands provide endless photographic opportunities.

What the workshop covers:

Shooting while traveling is a fun and challenging task, and something I am particularly enthusiastic about.  A new environment is a great time to work on our photographic eye, tackle various natural light conditions, and become adept capturing fleeting moments.  This workshop will help you:

-Become fluent with auto- and manual focus

-Understand how exposure works and achieve it in a fast and accurate manner

-Quickly decipher a scene and its compositional potential

-Make compelling images that communicate the essence of the moment

-Editing images in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop

-Enjoy photography and benefit from it both mentally and physically

Who Should Attend:

-Beginner to advanced photographers can enjoy this workshop, but some familiarity with your camera and equipment is recommended.

-DSLR cameras or Mirrorless system are preferred, but not absolutely necessary.

-Travel is taxing on the body, as is the change of climate and time zone.  While we will take things at a relaxed pace, some degree of physical endurance will improve your experience. Most of our locations are easy access, but the more natural areas will require walking and short hiking, but don’t worry: this is not a machete-wielding jungle expedition.

What should you bring:

The Philippines is tropical.  We recommend packing light: plan for light, loose clothing (quick dry clothes are great), and comfortable footwear suitable for walking and short hikes (sandals or closed-toe sandals should suffice).  We will have a laundry day on the 5th day.  Plan for some time in the water since many of our locations offer great swimming, snorkeling, and easy access to coral reefs. In general you should dress down and forego jewelry.  I highly recommend keeping your personal belongings to one piece of luggage and your camera bag since it will be easier to keep track of as we switch modes of transport.  Besides warm weather, this climate is also frequently visited by rain showers so I suggest a waterproof cover for your camera bag and a shower cap (or bag) that you can wrap over your camera in case we are caught by surprise.

Camera equipment should include a range of focal lengths from wide to moderate telephoto.  I’ve never had need of anything longer than 200mm, but if you enjoy shooting at longer lengths by all means bring your big glass. Tripods will open many possibilities and allow you to shoot at all hours of the day.  Invest in a good tripod and practice with its controls so that you can use it efficiently.  I also carry a point & shoot for some situations and for its ability to shoot underwater.

If you want to take advantage of our frequent post-processing classes then you’ll need to bring your laptop with Lightroom and/or Photoshop installed.

Getting there:

Flights should arrive in Cebu Feb. 15th.  Departure on the 27th (pm) at the earliest. 

We suggest to book a flight directly to Cebu City (CEB) to avoid domestic transfers in Manila’s already bustling airport (I’ve been held up with delays and lost luggage on separate occasions).  Korean Air, Asiana, and Singapore Airlines all fly into Cebu without connections in Manila.  (For those in the DC area: IAD to CEB on Korean Airlines is the shortest flight time).  Be careful to book your flight to arrive the afternoon on the 15th (usually closer to midnight).  Likewise your departure may best be scheduled on the 28th around 1am in the morning.  Beware that some flights arrive 2 days later than their departure date:  Be sure your flight comes in on the 15th.

You are welcome to stay longer in the Philippines if you wish, there is lots more to see and do.


Markets are colorful places full of patterns and people

Orientation:  We will all arrive in Cebu on the 15th and settle into a hotel for the night.  Orientation will cover the basics of traveling in the Philippines, our itinerary, and discuss our photographic strategy

Day 1:  Friday, Feb 16th, we will acclimatize to the sights and sounds, weather, and population density on our first day by visiting some local markets.   This is also our day to go shopping for any essentials we may need.  We’ll return to our hotel in Cebu for the night.

Day 2:  Saturday, the 17th, On our second morning we’ll be heading north to catch a 2-hour ferry ride to the Camotes Islands.  These rural islands have been one of my favorite locations.  They are tranquil enough for beautiful seascapes, yet populous enough to provide lots of opportunities to see the fishing, farming, and daily life that is at the core of the Philippine culture. While we will spend the day enjoying the rural lifestyle, we will retire to the Santiago Beach Resort for a good night’s sleep.

Day 3:  Sunday, Feb 18th, a dawn start will get us a nearby beach in the golden hour.  We’ll have some time in post-processing before lunch.  The rest of our day will be spent exploring more of the islands and the village of Tudela. We’ll return to Santiago Resort for the night.

Day 4: On Monday, the 19th, we have another opportunity to get out in the early morning. Mid-morning we will be taking a boat back to Cebu.  From Cebu it is a five and a half hour drive over the winding roads to the pier at Santander, from here we catch a 20 min boat ride across the strait to the small city of Dumaguete: our base of operations for the next couple days.

Hand weaving a fish trap out of bamboo.

Hand weaving a fish trap out of bamboo.

Day 5: Tuesday, Feb 20th, the day starts early with a walk along the east-facing boulevard.  We’ll explore a bit of this miniature city before hitting more post-processing.  In the afternoon we head into the hills to visit a river, waterfall, and wonder around the countryside.

Day 6: Wednesday the 21st. We’ll get up at the crack of dawn and head south to visit to a roadside rice paddy under Mount Talinis. Wednesday is market day in nearby Malatapay.  Vendors display their wares along the street while livestock is auctioned in an adjacent lot.

Day 7: Thursday, the 22nd, after a morning in Dumaguete it will be a van ride across the island to catch a small boat out to Danjugan Island, a natural and marine preserve.  The island is minimally developed for visitors, with ecotourism open-air cabanas and a few private rooms and some of the best night air in the country.  There is a lagoon, bat cave, mangrove, beaches and forest to explore.

Day 8: Friday, Feb 23rd, enjoy a full day on this pristine island starting with a sunrise.  During the day you may take a stroll, kayak, or snorkel.

Day 9: Saturday, the 24th, in the morning we enjoy Danjugan and then head back to the mainland to follow the coastal road around toward Dumaguete. We’ll catch the afternoon boat out to Apo Island. This island has several road-less villages and some great viewpoints, really epitomizing island life in the Philippines. We’ll stay at the beach-side Liberty Lodge

Philippines banka boat at apo island

With over 7000 islands much of life in the Philippines centers around the sea.

Day 10:  Sunday, Feb 25th,  Apo Island for the day.  Enjoy a great sunrise, snorkeling with sea turtles, and the wonderful activity of a small island community.

Day 11.  Monday, the 26th, we get to check out some of Apo’s great viewpoints.  Long flights of cement stairs lead up to high vantage points. Apo has power for several hours per day so we’ll take the opportunity to do some post-processing either before or after lunch. We’ll spend our last night on Apo.

Day 12: Tuesday, Feb 27th,  it’s time to pack bags and get ready to depart.  We’ll take an early boat back to the mainland, catch a flight back to Cebu mid-morning and plan to stay active all day.  We’ll head up into the hills behind the city and have a sunset and dinner on the hilltops overlooking the city lights. We’ll head to the airport in the evening for those who have midnight flights.

*You are also welcome to stay longer and enjoy the wonderful weather and hospitality of the Philippines.  Keep in mind that US citizens will receive a 30 day visa upon arrival.

To register, please contact us.