Translacion: Black Nazarene

I have been looking forward to Jan 9. It’s translocation of the Black Nazarene (Life size statue? of Jesus) from Point A (usually Quirino grandstand) to Point B (Quiapo Church). So what makes this special? Well it’s attended by millions of devotees. I planned to use my x100f (35mm) in contrast with the usually telephoto usage of the photographers during the event. Thinking a different perspective will give me a different result. Cock sure and confident I walked to the main bulk of the “parade?” I caught it near the Manila City Hall. More like it caught me. As I can’t move away and you just have to go with the tide of human. Nazareno

The heat and the press is suffocating. Thankfully there’s a ever presence of community in the whole mass. Water is given when it’s needed magically. And rescue personel are always available. Nazareno-4

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I tried to get closer still. But i’m wary carrying my camera as once in a while people would splash there water all around to cool the heating people. So I threaded the edge between the watchers and the joiners (Once trying to reach the Nazarene or hold the rope). Nazareno-5

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My shirt is soaked with my sweat and other peoples sweat by this time. Then a wave of feverish emotion soaked the people. They started shouting  “ariba! ariba!”

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After that I stepped out for a while to breath. That’s when I realized I lost my phone. Most likely stolen from the press humans. This completely took me out of the shooting mode. Just 1 and a half hour. The whole thing usually starts at 5am and ends at midnight. What a waste of photographic opportunity.

Note for next year: Bring only Camera!

Thanks for reading.

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Why Shoot? (Photography)

Why do you shoot photographs?

Why spend a lot of money buying gear to shoot?

Why obsess to try to improve your photography?

Does anyone even care?

I don’t know why I shoot or why a spend money to shoot. But I feel like I need to shoot, to capture a piece of life in negative or in ones and zeroes. I know this doesn’t make sense but when shooting, it’s like riding a bike for me, I zone out and forget my worries and try to see. To really see (the world). 

Mostly nobody will care. But who the fuck cares? as long as you’re “happy”. As long as you do what you feel you must do. Then do it. 

The Big Buddha

Our first day in Hong Kong takes us to the Big Buddha and Po Lin monastery. They say that the cremated remains of Siddhartha Gautama in interned inside this really peaked my interest. I have been deeply curious about Buddhism and have been reading a lot about it ( The Way to Zen by Alan Watts and Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Great books).

Continue reading “The Big Buddha”

X100f: Tell me what you think

I been toying around with the X100f film simulation/edit to figure out what work or not for me.

I got to the this result which really breaks me in half. When I look at it now I love it but when I looked at it before I really hated it. So tell me what you think? please? 😀

 

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Thanks for the feedback!

Commute

Like the reflective nature of a shower, Commute puts me in the same pensive mood.

When you have nowhere to go but sit and wait.

When all you hear are the droning noise of traffic.

That’s when it struck me. We are all going, moving and busy. We all but forgotten the simplicity of being alone with our own thought.

Do we even know our own true thoughts?

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Thanks for reading!

Pray to the muse

I have been reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and it was a revelation. All art is a pain to create (to start) when a blank canvass or a black page is only staring at you and you can’t seem to start anything. I have been like this for awhile now. The camera is always in my hand but I can’t seem to start taking photos of anything and the day goes by with out a single shutter fired.

Two things seems to stick with me after reading the book:

  1. Fight the Resistance- This just means to push thru the start. If you want to write start writing anything. For me I start my day taking a picture immediately when I hit the street. Good or bad subject I just start by taking that 1 picture! It always seems to put me in that flow state which lets me see more and capture more.CLE_Tri-X_00
  2. Praying to the Muse- I don’t always remember to do this but I try to. It’s pavlov’s me to think okay time to shoot. And somehow, the muse seems to always present something wonderful to me.                                                                                           “Muses, I praise thee.
    Grant me the vision to craft words of power that sear into the mind’s eye.
    Let my ears hear words that are true and pure.
    Let my inspiration be a mighty steed that carries me forward.
    I pledge to you that I shall fight Resistance and strive to bring glory to the tales you would have me tell.
    Let the work begin.” 
  3. Boy-2

If you want to fight thru the resistance in any creative process do read: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

Thank you for Reading!

 

Jeepneys

The cheapest and most common mode of transportation here in Manila. I use it almost daily to get around. Cheap! the main reason I like it.

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Just check where the jeep in going which is easily seen on the front. This one’s going to Kalaw, SM city hall and etc. Ride, pay then say “para” for it to stop. Easy.

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You can even ride for free at the cost of your safety.

The worst that can happen is when the driver wants the jeep to be full before leaving. Full is really full. When it’s a 9seater per side they’ll say it’s a 10 seater so they can have the most profit.

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That guy is only sitting on a sliver of the seat.

If you ever visit here. Ride one.

Thanks for reading!

On Contrast

Contrast– the state of being strikingly different from something else, typically something in juxtaposition or close association.

For the past 2 or 3 months I have been mainly shooting black and white as a challenge for myself to improve my photographic eye. Sadly my improvement is minimal and I still suck at it. One of my crutch is contrast. Black and white photos makes you see in tones which makes most of my shot plain and boring.
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So boring that even the subject fell asleep.
Being mindful and applying a little contrast improved some my shot.
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Bright colored shirt against dark background. Dark colored shirt against white background. It won’t make your photo great as you can see be it helps a lot with separation.
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Contrast also help with mood and horror.
Thinking of contrast made me realize a lot of other things. I live in the Philippines where you’ll find a lot of mini paradise, pristine beaches to mountain views to die for.
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On the other end of the spectrum is the filthy city of Manila. Most of the people doesn’t care about there surrounding, they throw most of their trash in the street, spittle and phlegm. Construction abounds everywhere cause most of the street is substandard due to corruption.
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But the contrast which breaks my heart is the living conditions of some of the children here. Street children which don’t have any place to call home, parents who shout, curse and hit them at the slightest slights. Food is variable, sometimes they eat but most of the times they feel a pang of hunger. Most of the education they’ll receive is mainly the rules of the dog eat dog world in the streets. Parental guidance of violence and impatience would be passed on to them and the cycle would begin again ad infinitum.
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Breakfast in bed. Yes that’s his bed.
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Good food and a loving family.
In contrast with us. With me. I got everything I wanted when I was a child. A room, food on our table, clothe, security and I even got a pet scorpion after making a scene in the pet shop, still i’m wanting more. We should take a breath and be thankful for the home, the food and every luxury we take for granted. In contrast to the ones who have it way worse my problems seems trivial.
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The other I realize most (around 80%) of the rich people I meet are miserable and the happiest are kids weather they are in a good or bad situation. I guess this is due to the power of play and being mindful, being in the now.
Wow. Talk about being of tangent but let’s see this through. I don’t have an answer to solve our poverty issue here but I want to share it with you. So we can be grateful and not take what we have for granted. Lastly I’ll leave you guys a quote which really freed me up from GAS.
“People value highest what they don’t have access to.”
 
Thank you for reading!