Siargao time lapse trilogy captures the islands and skies throughout the day.
About Siargao Island
Siargao Island is the surfing capital of Philippines. It is for good reason that the international surfing competitions are held here every year. The island has a number of surfing spots with waves that surfers from around the world just couldn’t get enough of. Cloud 9 (named after a candy bar) is the most famous surfing spot and has the best waves, partly thanks to being easily accessible from the boardwalk. The waves are the best from August to December.
Siargao is booming; seeing a steep rise in accommodation, bars and eateries in and between General Luna and Cloud 9. But, nevertheless, it is still a quiet and peaceful place that still holds its simple, laid-back charm. To me, it feels like ‘the real Philippines’; without the mass tourism as seen in Boracay and El Nido.
Surfing is what most tourists come here for. But Siargao has more to offer than just the surf. There are nice beaches, a waterfall, some caves and the famous Rock Pools which is a great place to swim at low tide. But the real, rare beauty is found at the surrounding islands – the Sugba Lagoon and the Sohoton Cove. There are a number of trips you can organise yourself or join in. You can’t just leave Siargao without doing any one or a few of those trips. Staying a night at the deserted Guyam Island and shooting the sky from sunset to sunrise while partying is one of my most favourite experiences ever. Especially at the island, you can find the clearest waters, best snorkelling places, gorgeous shells, and locals that are happy to meet visitors.
Want to know more about Siargao? Read my blogpost Siargao: The Complete Guide to Living the Ultimate Island Life
About the time lapse movies
I started my trip beginning of this year in Batanes as one of the highlights in my whole trip. It was an incredible and photogenic place with gorgeous sceneries all around. I went to Siargao soon after because of the good things I heard about it. I didn’t come for the surf; I came for the vibe, to chill and do photography. Although, I loved the atmosphere, at first, I found it a disappointment photography-wise. It was by far not as photogenic as I hoped for. But I was spoiled by Batanes. Nevertheless, over time, I learned to appreciate Siargao for what it is. There are nice beaches, wonderful skies, gorgeous islands and fantastic skies. The sunrises and sunsets get really colorful and there’s barely any light pollution, so it’s a great place to shoot the Milky Way and there are lots of lightning storms, which I love!
Initially, I planned to stay in Siargao for 2 weeks, but soon decided to stay a bit longer as I really enjoyed the relaxed vibe. But after a couple of weeks, I just wanted to stay till the end of the year, live the island life while focusing on my work and doing things that I really like to do like time lapses. During my first 5 months here, I shot almost a hundred time lapse scenes. At first, I thought of creating just one movie of Siargao; but once I had that many clips, the idea came to do a trilogy about the 3 main things I love about Siargao: Siargao island and the surrounding islands, the skies and the lightning storms. And so the Siargao time lapse trilogy was born: Dawn to Dawn, Dusk to Dawn and Night Light.
Siargao time lapse trilogy pt 1 ‘Dawn to Dusk’
(Watch all movies in HD please)
Dusk to Dawn is about Siargao between sunrise and sunset. It starts at the iconic Cloud 9 boardwalk, followed by some scenes at one of my favorite resorts, Ocean101, then scenes from different small islands such as Guyam, La Janusa, Daku, and then back to Siargao, ending at Cloud 9 again.
Siargao time lapse trilogy pt 2 ‘Dusk to Dawn’
Dawn to Dusk is about Siargao between sunset and sunrise, focusing especially on the Milky Way. The movie starts at Cloud 9 and shows a variety of scenes shot at Guyam Island and between General Luna and Cloud 9.
Siargao time lapse trilogy pt 3 ‘Night Light’
Night Light shows the beauty of lightning in Siargao. It starts with my favorite Milky Way shot at Cloud 9 and then shows a couple of lightning storms shot in Siargao, Guyam island and at the Dedon Island resort, then returning to the Milky Way rise above Guyam.
Cameras and Photography planning and editing tools used
To create the Siargao time lapse trilogy, I shot with a Nikon D800 (28-300 & 14-24) and Sony RX100iv mostly, but also used a D7000 (17-70/f2.8-4) in few scenes.
Photoshop and Lightroom were used for editing RAW files only. LRTimelapse was used for deflickering and transitions; and, also for exporting (via Lightroom) to a movie file. After Effects was used for editing the final movie.
Photopills app was used for planning while QdslrDashboard app was for doing time lapses (automatic time lapses on my D800 or manual on my Sony, using internal wifi on my Sony and a external TP-Link wifi extender for my D800).
Music by Simon Wilkinson, www.thebluemask.com