taal volcano:crater through invisible light

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the iconic scenery from tagaytay’s ridge has been on my adventure radar from the first time i set foot on volcano’s.  seeing the caldera in person was surreal. i have long been fascinated with volcanoes and been meaning to photograph all volcanoes i can visit.  taal is no exception, the features are quite dynamic. first of all the real taal volcano is the bigger island and much to popular belief mt. balantoc is what people perceived as the taal volcano which in fact just a lump of land that looks like a volcano. Apparently the caldera is the island we all are seeing from the ridge. it was noted that the whole shore line of taal lake was its orginal caldera but after a massive eruption depressed its topographical feature and submerge the whole volcano and now we are all just seeing the tip of the vulcan, residents on the volcano island are well aware of the dangers they live in and generations of the locals have learned to live off the island and the lake. its ironic how devastating can nature become and also be as nurturing to its inhabitants, realizing that we are a part of the bigger scheme of things. that each and every one of us are a piece to a universal puzzle. nature can really work wonders and i have learned to appreciate things just as they are. the town of talisay, batangas was our jump off point to get to the volcano island. we rented an outrigger to drop us off at a small village just at the foot of the caldera. many locals offer a horseback ride up to the summit but we opted to hike up to enjoy the scenery. just be mindful of your step though as there are many horse dung along the trail. the best time to visit the summit from its view deck is during morning. as the sun would illuminate the crater from your back giving you a perfect exposure for a landscape shot. unfortunately for us we were there mid afternoon so we have to make up for the light and lots of  shadows in our scene. I tried on using infrared approach on this crater shot. so i slapped on a 720nanometer infrared filter on my lens and shot a number of exposures just after setting a correct white balance. the source of light at the time was scarce so i had to take longer exposure time to get right balance of my highlights and shadows. i think i have exhausted all efforts on getting a correct exposure but taking a photograph in the morning would definitely looked far better than what i have taken. so ill better be coming back real soon! thank you taal! till our next adventure!

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