Myths Uncovered About Photographing Philippine Military Cadets | AvianQuests

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Myths Uncovered About Photographing Philippine Military Cadets

Friday, March 24, 2017
I write about the Philippine Military Academy on how I started taking photos of the PMA cadets/institution and personally realized photographic approaches on how I got cool images.
Philippine Military Academy Cadets Attention

I was late when I got to the venue and I thought why not I take photos on a bird's eye view, that is shooting from above.
In those days drone technology did not yet exist. I was using a DSLR camera with 18-55mm kit lens at 55mm when captured this. It was a scary shot from above a building rooftop. Always make safety your first priority when shooting at high vantage positions
PMA Cadets Session Road No Drone technology Shot Signature Vantage Shot
At that time the prevailing ambient lighting was not good and so I decided to capture the moment using freeze the frame ISO 800 and 250-300 shutter speed in manual mode. For personal taste, I gave it a military-grade like post-processing. 
PMA Cadets Session Road Squad Formations Vantage Shot
I just repeated the first shot this time around playing with vantage point landscape compositions.
PMA Cadets Session Road Marching Squad Formations Vantage Shot
This image I used portrait style to give it a sense of expanded vertical direction. 
PMA Cadets Sessin Road Baguio Flower Festival
Now, capture the PMA formations in landscape with the left side viewing crowd and no photo post-processing
PMA Cadets Session Road
Again, PMA formations in the landscape mode and now with the right side viewing crowd and no photo post-processing. 
PMA Cadets Session Road Vantage shot
This time an isolating shot just the PMA squad without the multitudes. Notice that I watermarked the photos. I was beginning photography then and through time, I eventually removed watermarking as just serves as a viewing nuisance and is not a guarantee/protection against image theft. 
PMA Cadets Marching Bird's Eye View Vantage Shot
One of the best positions again to shoot is using vantage point, however, this time around from a frontal position/eye view. Just enough height that you get the whole PMA marching squad exposing the foreground mid and getting the background in one click using a telephoto lens. An isolation subject matter shot.
PMA Cadets Baguio Flower Festival Vantage Capture
At the same vantage height, This time around I used a wide angle lens at portrait layout. This image now tells the story of the parade in one go. 

PMA Cadet Escorting Miss Baguio Contestant
From the streets and now moving into the limelight. Are you kidding me? Nope, The Philippine Military Academy cadets volunteer in escort action for a prestigious city beauty pageant. Truth to the matter, PMA cadets actively involve themselves in community-based social activities. This is no myth. Nightime and lowlight photography is kinda quite challenging. I humbly suggest, you also read more on out low-light photography for performing artists, bands in stadiums, gyms, outdoor venues, etc.
PMA Cadet Escort Miss Baguio Contestant

If you happen to travel to Baguio, photo-documenting PMA cadets during their Silent Drill Ceremonies would be cool. Definitely, there are no myths here. Just comply with protocols and proper decorum/guidelines when at visiting PMA grounds/facility and you're good.    
PMA Parade Drills
Effectively use framing the background with the foreground PMA marching cadets.
PMA Parade Drills
Frame it well with the foreground and background clearly exposed.
PMA Parade Drills

PMA Parade Drills
You can also focus on a virtue then frame the marching shot.


PMA Marching Band
I accidentally bumped into the PMA Marching band up-close.
PMA Behind the Scenes

PMA Behind the Scenes
Silhouettes - use dark and light and bokeh. As I was at the back of a cadet doing a salute (foreground) and at back is the field with cadets in stationary march time. 
PMA Behind the Scenes
Similarly, but now expose (controlled) both foreground and background the subject in a captured by the moment approach. Freezing the subject matter.
PMA Drills

PMA Behind the Scenes

Philippine Military Academy Cadet Upclose
I was able to capture this in one street parade.

Philippine Military Academy Cadet Upclose
PMA War Relics
PMA War Relics
Heavy metal Sherman M-4A1 Medium Tank 
PMA War Relics
Armoured Infantry Fighting Vehicle (AIFV) Armaments: 
 Primary : 25MM Auto cannon (Oerlikon KBA B02)
PMA War Relics

J a n e 's 
PMA War Relics
Heavy Metal 
The Bell UH-1 "Huey" Helicopter

PMA Cadets Lopez Hall of Leaders   PMA Cadets Attention

PMA Pass and Review

PMA Cadets Marching

Silent Drill

Best times to photograph PMA cadets whilst visiting Baguio City ...
Yearly Baguio Flower Festival every February ...
Baguio Charter Day Sept 01...
PMA Graduation

For more update information, visit Philippine Military Academy website.

Selfless Service to God and Country ...Honor ... Excellence

"If your action inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader" ~John Quincy Adams


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