Light Stalking at Camotes Island with Zenfone Zoom

Luck Favors The Prepared. This is what the great French microbiologist Louis Pasteur said.

Sunrise and sunset photography is a bit tricky. There is a thin margin between luck and success of getting that soft, warm, magical and diffused golden light during the golden hour. Golden hour is the first hour of breathtaking light after sunrise, and the last hour of light before sunset.

The Philippines, being near to the equator has a shorter golden hour. If you plan to go on light stalking, either sunrise or sunset, it is very important to consider the following:

LOCATION is crucial because not everywhere is a good spot to capture that golden light. You should be able to know the place so you wont find hard time with your compositions. Also, don’t literally chase lights, be at your desired location an hour ahead or so.

If you have found the right location, the next thing to consider is your COMPOSITION. There so much you can do during golden hour. It is very important that keep yourself calm and don’t get overwhelmed. Here are a couple of ways of making most of the magical light during golden hour.

  • Back Lighting
  • Front Lighting
  • Haze
  • Bokeh
  • Rim Light
  • Sun Flare
  • Silhouette

Additional Tip
Pay attention to the light throughout the day and watch out for clouds. Although clouds adds impact to your photographs it can also shortens the length of the golden hour.

The island of Camotes is not new to me since I have visited it for a couple of times already and I must say I managed to capture a couple of decent sunset photos. A week ago, me and my family spent a weekend holiday at the Santiago Bay Garden & Resort. As most of us know, the resort is located on a spot where you can get a glimpse of both sunrise and sunset. As much as I am excited to take a dip at the crystal-clear waters of Santiago Bay, I am very thrilled to do some light-stalking.

The weather was just fine and the sea was a bit rough on our way to the island, the sun never failed me as it sets in the horizon in all glory. The breathtaking sunset welcomed us  and I must say it was truly a day of pure satisfaction. 

Light Stalking Camotes Island

Light Stalking Camotes Island

Light Stalking Camotes Island

This was the first time I traveled without my good old Canon DSLR since I decide to go mobile. I guess luck was indeed on my side and the stars have aligned because my dearest #ZenfoneZoom has again, delivered justice to the jaw-dropping sunrise that warmth our early morning stroll. 

The succeeding sunset and sunrise was not good because the weather gone bad but all in all, it was still a fun-filled weekend and really a time well spent with the family. 

Do you like taking photos during golden hour with your smartphone? Do you have any tips to share to those who are into mobile photography? Share below!

This post is part of Drift Stories’ #GoingMobile project.
All photos are captured with an Asus Zenfone Zoom.

Herbert Kikoy

I am a hobbyist photographer who’s making a big shift to mobile photography, a frustrated cook and a wanderlust who don’t have the luxury of time.

  • Hey, of all the scenes I like, sunsets are one of them. So, ang masasabi ko lang talaga, timing is everything. Tama maigsi ang window of opportunity. But the thing with sunset photography is this. The camera has to be set up already. The scene is already pictured in the mind, which means less adjustments for composition. And then what else is there to do, but to wait for the glorious sunset.

    • Plus LUCK also Sir Robert coz its not every afternoon we get to see such glorious sunset.

      • Yes. Agree. It is not everyday na maganda ang scene.

  • Maaya Legaspi

    Who would have thought that those are only captured by smart phones?! Great shots! I love sunshines but not sunrise and sunset in particular. But when I am lucky enough to see one, I also make sure to take a nice photo of it. I don’t know what’s with sunset that it makes everything looks so magical.

    • Thanks Maaya. The colors, that soft yet fiery colors is what makes it special. It has a sort of drama with it I must say 😀

  • Eunis Ann De Guzman

    Such a great shots! I never seen anyone like these shots through smartphone. Will definitely check that phone out. Oh by the way, would it be okay if you teach me some techniques I could used for a cellphonetography, I love how you do the sunset shots tho. It so magical and fantastic looks like pure in any ways

    • Hi Eunis, using a Point & Shoot or a DSLR is just similar with using your smartphone. You just need to have a good composition. Just take a lot of photos, compare and choose the best one. I do that sometime and it really pays especially if your frame have people in it 😀

  • Marge Gavan

    For a phone-taken photos, these shots are amazing. I like that the color are not pale but not overly saturated. Just right. Looks like zenphone is a good phone to consider, I mean why not, it takes good pictures. My favorite shots are the ones with starfish!

    • Hi Marge, I must admit that I am pretty inlove with my phone :D. Yes, it takes better photos. I can attest to that 😀

  • I hate doing photography! I am a writer and not a visual person, so it annoys me that I need to take photos for my blog. But your photos are really gorgeous! I am very impressed with the golden color of the light.

  • KT Peralta-Nielsen

    Oh wow! The photos of the starfishes and the setting sun really caught my eye. I’ve never been to Camotes Island but if I get to go one day I will surely try shooting while the sun is setting. The phone you used took rather decent shots. I would not have guessed that you used a phone if you did not talk about it. Did you edit the photos before uploading or just straight out of the phone?

    • Hi KT, Thank you. The photos are enhanced via Snapseed. Camotes is such a nice place and Im just lucky that during our stay the weather was very good

  • Good capture of light with Zenfone Zoom. I handled one for review some time back, got some cool sunset pics then. Camtotes Island seems to be an ideal destination for photography, hope I get there some day.

    • Yes Indrani.. Camotes is a good place for some photography sessions

  • Yogo Cream

    I don’t really like taking photos with my smartphone for landscapes. And then I also use lightroom to post process it. Still haven’t tried Asus Zen Fone but it’s nice to know that in the hands of a good photographer, it can produce beautiful photos. I don’t know though which one is better that or Samsung. I’m not really a techy person and I’m just an iPhone user even having the iPhone 7, I don’t know if I can achieve that. You did a cool job! 🙂

    • Thanks Maam. iPhone 7 is one awesome phone. It take better photos too

  • Cyka niki

    Wow, this I would love to learn, I’m using my phone as of the moment in taking videos and photos, you just need to maximize what you have in my case. Still saving for dslr, I’m inspired of your post to know more about mobile photography. You had a great shot, love every picture

    • We have photowalks every now and then Cyka, we aim to have 1 photography-related every month here. Join us next time

  • WanderingFeetPH

    I love taking photos of sunrise and sunsets and during golden hours due to the dramatic effects they give on the photo. I would also love to learn more regarding photography. I’d really like to be able to capture stunning photos especially when I travel.

    • I guess patience and luck is the right formula for getting good photos hehehe

  • hannafrej

    I remember what Kimi Juan told me about this during the Explore 360 Photography Workshop last year. She said that wherever you are in the Philippines, sunrise and sunsets are always the best that even the most basic smart phones can capture it’s beauty. I’m quite curious with these Zenfone phones, murag nindot sad siya ay. 🙂

    • if you’re going to ask me about my Zenfone, it’s worth buying. Good thing I won this premium phone from a photo contest kay its a bit mahal 😀

  • Ka nindot jud sa photos!! I haven’t taken a legit sunrise/sunset photo that I’ve prepared for. It always comes as a surprise to me, kanang moment na magdali2x kag kuha sa imo phone kay mawala dayon ang sunrise or sunset. Haha. I’ve tried many times mag atang sa Naga baywalk but wala pajud na swertehan..

    • I like the term “LEGIT” hehehehe… Naga Baywalk will soon be you go-to spot when you get the chance to capture the beautiful sunrise in that place

  • The photos look so legit! Sunset and sunrise shots are really to die for! Pero sometimes lang jud kung mag getaway mi and mag plan mu bangon ug sayo to capture sunrise but end up waking up 10 in the morning na hahaha!

    • If you cant make it on sunrise… sunsets are good options

  • hishiddenletters

    Those sunsets are to die for. And I like the vibe that the volleyball photo gives me. They look like they’re having tons of fun.

  • Wandering Soul Scamper

    Wow, those photos are impeccable! I really love to take photos of sunsets too. Well I’m a sunset chaser of some sort kay tig dugay mo mata to catch the sunrise. I really love the first photo, how the dog and the kid disturbed the serene background.

  • Beautiful photos! We were planning to go to Camotes last month for my daughter’s birthday but my mom wanted us to celebrate it at home this year.

  • Ramzy Magbitang

    Great shots! The golden hour is my favorite time of the day hands-down and is absolutely my favorite time to take photos. Shame it only takes place for a quick while here!