The Simple, Timeless Beauty of the Philippine Provinces

B&W Photography in the provinces of the Philippines - Sony RX100iii  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
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There is nothing like the small towns and villages of the Philippines–a place where you can slow down, decompress...and breathe some fresh, clean air. Where the worries of hectic, modern life seem to fade from view, and sharing a home-cooked meal with friends and family becomes your #1 priority.



After the positive response from my recent series "Manila in Black and White", I decided to use the B&W format to capture the beauty of life in the Philippine countryside.


In my mind, it's perfect. A timeless format for these timeless landscapes.


I captured the following images with my little Sony RX100III.


A Story in Pictures - Life In The Provinces.

Village fishermengazing out to sea in Santo Domingo, Albay - Bicol  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Local fishermen chatting by the sea, Sto. Domingo - Albay - ISO125, f6.3, 1/1000


As I walked toward the sea, I noticed these 3 men...and wondered how many generations their families have been fishing here.


Small white fisherman boat in Albay, Bicol - Philippines Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Fishing banka (boat) docked on pavement by the sea - Sony RX100III - B&W - ISO125, f3.5, 1/250

This is one of my favorite shots. A few fishing boats have been pulled off the beach, and I found this one resting on the pavement under some dramatic storm clouds.



Sto. Domingo is known for it's black sand beaches, and here I found a local fisherman casting his line directly from the shore. A black sand beach lends itself perfectly to striking black and white photography, I realized.


Solo fisherman casting his line from a black sand beach in Santo Domingo, Albay - Bicol  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Lone man pole fishing on a black-sand beach - Santo Domingo, Albay - ISO125, f7.1, 1/400


As I continued up the beach, I found many more fishing boats, along with evidence of the recent storm.


Fishing boats parked on dirty black-sand beach in Albay - Philippines  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Coastal fishing boats docked on a dark, volcanic beach - Sony RX100III - ISO125, f5, 1/640


These regions of Bicol are often hit by typhoons coming in from the open waters of the Pacific.


In fact, I was near here, in Legazpi, when typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines. I volunteered for repacking relief goods afterward.


Barrios Kids Pool on the coast in Santo Domingo, Albay - Philippines - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Puddle reflections and "castle" on the coastline - ISO125, f6.3, 1/1250


(continued below)


Nathan Allen Bio via @idreamedofthis

Farms, Rice Fields & The Countryside

B&W baby goat in the provinces - Santo Domingo, Albay - Bicol  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Curious B&W goat posing for a picture - ISO125, f3.2, 1/2000


I found this little guy while walking through a rice field. He is already black and white, so I suppose he feels perfectly at home without color:)


Young papaya tree growing in rice field - Santo Domingo, Albay - Bicol  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Papaya tree growing in a rice paddy - Sony RX100III - B&W - ISO125, f2.8, 1/2,000


There are so many beautiful tropical plants and fruits in the Philippines. Here I captured some bright young papaya contrasted against the dark rice seedlings growing behind it.


Little papaya plants on the side of some rice fields in Santo Domingo, Albay - Philippines  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Young papaya trees along a rice field - ISO 125, f4, 1,2000


This picture of an old Spanish church was actually taken from a moving car. I guess I was pretty lucky. With a fast lens and the right shutter speed settings, you can also capture some truly candid photos this way!


St. Dominic Of Guzman Parish church in Sto Domingo, Albay - Philippines - Sony RX100III Black and White © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Santo Domingo Spanish church through the coconut trees - ISO 125, f2, 1/400


Here is a nice slice of everyday provincial life. I assume this is a lola (grandmother) walking with her grandson in the rain. Small pathways like this often lead through barangays, or neighborhoods in the provinces.


Woman and small boy with umbrella in neighborhood alley - Santo Domingo, Albay - Philippines  - Sony RX100III  © Nathan Allen via @idreamedofthis
Woman & small boy with umbrella - Sony RX100III - B&W - ISO 200, f1.8, 1/320


(Again, all of these photos were taken with a Sony RX100III pocket camera. That link above is for Amazon, but you can find it in the Philippines and Singapore HERE. I am not partnered with Sony, but using those links will help me create more content like this)



In this series, I tried to provide a unique and artistic glimpse into provincial Filipino life - I hope I achieved this, and I certainly hope you enjoyed. Please feel free to share, and find more of my Philippine adventures here.



- Nathan Allen


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Click the camera image below to read more about the Sony RX100III featured in this article...


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Nathan Allen has spent 6 years taking photos and documenting life in Asia.  A long-term traveler, he lives by the motto "spend less, see more".  Follow him HERE.


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