Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How it Dawned Upon Me

Of course, I consider myself lucky, even privileged enough, to be surrounded by so many photographers, photojournalists in their own right, who wield their cameras like seasoned warriors in the Trojan War. Standing by the doorway, awed by the color of the sky, I would aim a point and shoot, and over my shoulders, Ja would say, "Not too much of the sky, Ma, look at the dome, instead. There should be more of the dome and less of the sky." "But the sky, I want the sky, can't you see its color, how different it is from yesterday?"
In another place, another time, I'd look over the window on the third floor of Marco Polo, fascinated by how the Ateneo de Davao building looked from there. So, I'd aim my point and shoot again, near where Tatay Rene was engrossed over his aerial shoot; then, unwittingly, he'd take a glance at what I was doing and say, "Why do you include the windows, Day, that would clutter the picture, you can do away the windows." "But I want the windows, Tay, I want to take a picture of that building through the window of another building." He would give me a puzzled look; and shrugging his shoulders, leave me alone.
At the lobby of a new mall, fascinated again by how the speakers creatively used an overhead mirror, instead of an overhead projector in making their cooking demonstration visible to a larger audience, I aimed my camera again to capture the scene. Keith, with a calculating photographer's eye, noticed my distance from my subject; and nudging me, said, "Get closer. You won't get anything there." In another forum in another mall, Bing Gonzales noticed how I was focusing my camera at the cords on the floor while a press conference was going on. "What are you trying to capture? What story are you trying to impart?" "I don't have a story here," I said, still focusing on the stupid cords. There is no story here except my endless search for stories.
Then, finally, I found solace on what photographer Nick Onken said in his book “photo trekking”: Choose subjects that interest you. Don’t only photograph subjects just because you are paid to do it but you should follow your guts. Explore subjects that naturally fascinate you and attract you for some reasons. This is how you develop your style.
It's just a bit like writing, I guess.

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