Of fireworks and shooting UP Lantern Parade 2015
by Ronin Bautista
Nona rained on the UP Lantern Parade, but the university’s dingas (flame) could not be extinguished.
Drenched from the occasional downpours, Martin San Diego (fullcourtfresh.com colleague and chief photographer) and I braved the dark academic oval for snapshots of the parade.
But that night’s target was to get a good fireworks shot.
I have always admired the shots of friends from The Lasallian (the official publication of DLSU) friends whenever they take fireworks shots of DLSU. The same admiration also goes to Paul Quiambao’s snapshots of UST. They don’t just capture the fireworks, they make sure to include an iconic landmark on campus in their composition.
For UP, my alma mater, that is most likely the Oblation.
I first tried to shoot fireworks in 2007 (photos are now lost) and 2008, but I only tried framing in the Oblation at the 2009 Lantern Parade. I had no tripod, but the shot was fairly decent.
In 2010 and 2011, the fireworks display was stationed behind the Oblation. Shoot.PH co-author Joshua Mark Dalupang and I covered in both years, but we only got a shot of the display, with no iconic foreground or background. The Carillon was covered by the trees from our vantage point at that time.
Good thing the shot turned out well. Single photo. 15 seconds. This was the main photo used by GMA News Online.
In 2014, the fireworks display was positioned behind the Oblation, so I tried a wide approach taken from afar.
— Ronin Bautista (@roninbautista) December 15, 2014
This year, I took a gamble and tried to frame the Oblation from an angle that I never tried before. Unfortunately, most of the fireworks were fired too low from my vantage point, but the grand finale delivered.
Single shot. 15 seconds. This was posted on PTV’s Facebook page.
But I have three consecutive fireworks photos, each exposed for 8 seconds. Martin suggested that I merge them
The beauty of Toym Imao’s piece radiates well with the Oblation this year, and it helped make a very interesting shot this time. Here’s to hoping for a better fireworks display at UP to be photographed in the years to come.